The federal government is set to undertake a monumental task of reducing existing standard operating procedures (SOP) from about 180 to just 10 in the upcoming weeks as the country gradually transitions from the Covid-19 pandemic into an endemic phase.
According to FMT, Senior Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said the government aims to streamline and revise existing SOPs for it to be easily understood by the public, industry stakeholders and enforcement agencies following a meeting involving four ministries on Covid-19.
He revealed this ahead of an announcement by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob over further relaxations allowed under the National Recovery Plan (NRP) at a time yet to be determined.
“On the SOPs that will be announced, we will reduce the existing SOPs (covering the four NRP phases) numbering a total of 181 to our target of 10 SOPs. It will take a bit of time but I think it will be a lot easier for the public to understand.
“I mean, we have been working with these SOPs for more than a year and when I asked the timeline… I don’t know but God Willing, two to three weeks. I hope it can be done,” he said in a press conference at Parliament today (14 Sept).
In a statement later, Hishammuddin also said the benchmark used to determine the revised SOPs will not only take into account scientific data from the Health Ministry but also feedback and views obtained from experts and industry stakeholders.
Separately, Hishammuddin said a committee chaired by the prime minister earlier had agreed in principle to the loosening of SOPs and opening up of more sectors in the future. He said the decision to open more social and economic sectors took into account the people’s fatigue following over a year of movement controls.
Hishammuddin said such a situation could not go on longer as it risked taking a toll on mental health. He said the committee also discussed the shift to a Covid-19 endemic phase, set for the end of October.