MOH fine tuning SOP for barber shops

PUTRAJAYA: The Health Ministry (MOH) is studying and fine-tuning the standard operating procedure (SOP) for barber shops during the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) period before proposing whether they can resume business.

Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the MOH had received a letter from the barbers’ association and was looking into the matter, including to determine the number of foreigners working as barbers in the country.

“This is an industry which involves contact with customers so we want to work out a way to avoid Covid-19 infection.

“We have looked into this matter and what we need is data on the number of foreigners working as barbers,” he told a daily news conference on Covid-19 here today.

Earlier, Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the government needed to get advice from the MOH before it could allow barber shops to reopen.

Ismail Sabri was asked about appeals from barber shop operators for permission to resume business because they have lost their source of income since the Movement Control Order (MCO) was implemented on March 18.

Meanwhile, Dr Noor Hisham said that as of yesterday, the MOH had received 8,380 calls involving mental health issues which needed counselling.

He said 46.8 per cent of the problems raised concerned emotions like stress, worries and anger as a result of various social factors such as financial problems, lack of income and family disputes.

“Apart from that, 20 per cent were connected to the Covid-19 pandemic, that is fear they might not be getting accurate information on Covid-19 and for that we gave them counselling on the latest information,” he added.

Other issues involved assistance of basic necessities (6.9 per cent), domestic violence and relations (6 per cent), psychiatric problems of depression and anxiety (2.4 per cent) and child abuse (0.2 per cent), he said.

Dr Noor Hisham said the MOH also has a hotline where doctors and other ministry personnel are available to offer online counselling to those in need. - Bernama