Sharp drop in use of Malaysian contact-tracing app as apathy sets in

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KUALA LUMPUR – Fewer Malaysians have used their MySejahtera Covid-19 contact tracing app in recent weeks to enter business premises, although the government will only drop the registration requirement from Sunday 1 may.

Experts believe the sharp drop in the number of people scanning the QR code from the MySejahtera app – similar to Singapore’s TraceTogether – is caused by apathy and the idea that the coronavirus is no longer a threat to public health .

According to data provided by the Malaysian Ministry of Health, average daily check-ins at registered premises using the app fell by 30.3%, or 7.4 million, in the two weeks from March 25 to April 9. .

Malaysia moved into the endemic phase of living with the virus from April 1, but still required people to use the MySejahtera app before entering malls, stores and offices.

There is a heavy fine for those who flout this rule.

Since early 2020, the use of the app for all businesses in the country has been made mandatory to help the Ministry of Health detect people exposed to carriers of Covid-19, so that they can be warned and possibly isolated. to protect others from the virus.

Under the Infectious Disease Prevention and Control Act, those who flout the rule to register with the app could face a maximum fine of RM1,000 (S$315), while companies may be fined RM10,000.

Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said on Wednesday April 27 that it will no longer be mandatory to scan the MySejahtera QR code when entering the premises from Sunday.

But he advised Malaysians to enable the app’s Trace feature for contract tracing purposes.

One person who had stopped using his MySejahtera app is tutor Josiah Ng.

“It’s very annoying to have to take out your phone and scan the QR code at the entrance before being allowed to enter a mall. There would be a long queue because of this when it would have must have taken a few seconds (to get in),” said the 29-year-old who stopped using the app last month.

“What’s the point, we’re going to live with Covid-19 anyway,” he said.

Echoing the same sentiment, promoter Natasha Ibrahim said the lack of enforcement caused her to drop the app.

“No matter how hard I try to follow the rules, it’s just very tiring. Also, the latest strain of Covid-19 isn’t as bad as before and the lack of enforcement isn’t helping “said the 25-year-old. sales promoter in a mall.

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