BERA, July 11 — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob today said that seven million Malaysians have yet to take their booster dose against Covid-19 so far and advised them to do so immediately.

He said although the booster dose was not mandatory, it is still vital as not only did the positive cases of Covid-19 have returned with an upward trend, but the dose would also help in facing new variants of the virus, especially the more infectious Omicron BA.5 variant.

“It is not mandatory, but I would like to advise those who have yet to take the booster dose to immediately take it to protect themselves from infection, and if they are having the symptoms, go see a doctor for confirmation.” Ismail Sabri, who is Bera Member of Parliament, said this to reporters when met after attending the Korban Perdana programme and witnessing the sacrificial rites in conjunction with Aidiladha at Darul Fikri Mosque here today.

When asked if there was a plan to reopen large-scale vaccination centres to facilitate those who have yet to take the booster dose, Ismail Sabri said it was up to the Ministry of Health to decide, if they find it necessary.

The prime minister also said that the government had no plan to re-close the economic sectors despite the increase in the number of positive cases of Covid-19.

“Life will go on as usual, but we need to take proactive measures to protect ourselves and our families, including by taking the booster dose against Covid-19,” he said.

Ismail Sabri said the people were also advised to take appropriate measures to avoid infection of Covid-19 even though many relaxations had been given since the country entered the Transition to Endemic phase on April 1.

“...this includes not having to wear a face mask in an outdoor setting, but we can still take our own initiative to protect ourselves, especially when we are in a crowded area,” he said.

On the Korban Perdana programme, he said it has been a tradition for his constituency to hold the programme and for this year, 79 cows were distributed for the purpose. — Bernama