The Ministry of Health has been inundated with requests and comments from the media, stakeholders and the public since the release of the revised contact tracing, quarantine and isolation protocols on December 23, 2021.
The reason for the revision was based on a number of scientific factors, including the fact that most people have been vaccinated with at least one dose of the vaccine and have developed some level of immunity. This has contributed to the current low hospitalization rates and high recovery rates.
Second, many people have no symptoms and only a small percentage of them are diagnosed. A number of people, including children who come into contact with people who test positive for COVID-19, are losing their income and valuable school time while staying at home without symptoms.
Thus, in keeping with the principles of transparency and openness, the ministry has decided to put the implementation of the revised policy changes on hold, while taking into consideration all additional comments and inputs received. This means that the status quo remains and all existing regulations on contact tracing, quarantine and isolation remain applicable.
An amended circular will be reissued once all additional input and comments have been considered. The department sincerely apologizes for any confusion and inconvenience caused.