KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 11 — The fact that Malaysia is now in 13th place, compared to 115th last August, in the latest Nikkei Covid-19 Recovery Index shows that the country is on the right track to tackling the pandemic.

Senior Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said this also showed that the country was heading towards a better situation and moving closer towards recovery.

“… with a lower number of Covid-19 cases, better vaccination rates and less stringent physical distancing measures,” he told a media conference after the Covid-19 quartet ministers’ meeting here today.

He said these efforts must be continued and all parties should not be easily contented.

He added that the government’s priority now was to further reduce the number of daily cases, increase the vaccination rates, especially the booster dose, and bring the country into the endemic phase.

 “It is not easy but we have the capability to achieve it,” he said optimistically.

He stressed that it could be achieved provided all parties continued to remain alert, be responsible in complying with the standard operating procedures (SOP), have faith in the effectiveness of vaccines, including the booster jab, carry out periodic testing as well as adopt TRIIS (Test, Report, Isolate, Inform, Seek) as best possible.

Hishammuddin also expressed his appreciation and congratulations to all parties, especially the frontliners and people who were described as resilient, tenacious, strong-willed and disciplined in carrying out efforts to tackle Covid-19, including complying with all SOPs set by the government.

Based on the Nikkei Covid-19 Recovery Index as of December 31, 2021, Malaysia is in 13th spot with 66.5 points, while Bahrain tops the list with 82 points, followed by Chile (76.5 points) and Taiwan (75.5 points).

A higher ranking indicates a country or region is closer to recovery with low numbers of confirmed Covid -19 cases, better vaccination rates and less stringent social distancing measures. — Bernama