Created: 31 May 2021
The current tough times call for everyone to be extra mindful of their health, particularly by washing their hands frequently, masking up and practising social distancing.
No one could have anticipated that the outbreak of a coronavirus in late 2019 would turn into a pandemic, affecting the whole world. Over the past year, COVID-19 mutations’ rate of transmission and severity have raised more alarms as infections soar in many countries.
The steps outlined by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to minimise the spread of COVID-19 have now become our daily Standard Operating Procedure (SOP). Social distancing, wearing a mask and frequent handwashing are among the measures we now perform instinctively to protect ourselves against the virus.
As isolating ourselves and avoiding crowds are the best options, keeping ourselves fit − both physically and mentally − will help us cope with this pandemic in the long run. To curb the hike in COVID-19 cases in Malaysia, the government imposed the Movement Control Order (MCO), the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) and the Restricted Movement Control Order (RMCO), all variants of some restriction in movement to reduce infections among the masses.
These movement restrictions certainly affect our daily activities. A work from home order for example, certainly means less time being on one’s feet as one spends more hours seated behind a desk at home. With gymnasium, parks and other recreational avenues ordered closed, opportunities to exercise too are greatly reduced.
Keep healthy to stay strong
While staying safe remains a priority, we should not forsake our health with these restrictions in place. Exercising regularly is still important to maintain good health. Pick a spot in your home where you can exercise daily. Everyone has easy access to a host of workouts at their fingertips via their smartphones now, be it on YouTube or a mobile app.
Similarly, we need to keep our mental health in check. A pandemic can cause a lot of stress as uncertainties can lead to fear, anger, and even depression, among others, that negatively impact our mental wellbeing. Keeping in contact with family and friends via phone and video calls, can help when visits are not possible.
While we hope for the best one day, the COVID-19 test may become inevitable. A close contact or a family member who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 may require us to get the test done. COVID-19 testing is not a one-off affair as we are constantly exposed to risks of the virus as we go about our daily lives. Whenever you feel unwell and show symptoms of coronavirus, you may want to get a COVID-19 test done again.
Get reimbursed for COVID-19 Testing
Frequent testing for COVID-19 means more frequent spending for this health check. Don’t let this worry you, though. If you have medical insurance or hold a medical card, you can apply for COVID-19 test reimbursement from the COVID-19 Test Fund (CTF). The CTF was established by The Life Insurance Association of Malaysia (LIAM), Persatuan Insurans Am Malaysia (PIAM) and the Malaysian Takaful Association (MTA).
The aim of this Fund is to assist medical insurance policyholders and takaful certificate holders by reimbursing them for the COVID-19 tests taken while simultaneously lending support to the Ministry of Health’s (MOH’s) efforts to carry out extensive COVID-19 testing.
Eligibility for reimbursement
To qualify for the reimbursement, insurance policyholders with group/individual medical and health insurance policies and takaful certificates must undergo COVID-19 tests at recognised private laboratories listed on MOH's COVID-19 website. The CTF reimbursement is limited to one test per policy/certificate holder only and the reimbursement period is valid until June 30, 2021, or earlier, if the fund has been fully utilised.
The reimbursement also applies for Persons Under Investigation (PUI), those who are at risk or referred by doctors to go for the COVID-19 test as defined by the MOH. Others who can seek reimbursement include those who are admitted to the hospital for any emergency or semi-emergency. The reimbursement rate is capped at RM300 per test, per individual. Regardless of the outcome of the COVID-19 test results, you can still claim from the CTF to get a reimbursement for the test.
Prioritise health above all
As mutated variants of COVID-19 keep emerging, we need to continuously stay vigilant. We must never let our guard down and take things easy. By adhering to all the SOPs, we can greatly help curb the spread of the virus.
In addition to staying fit, having balanced meals will also help you stay healthy. As movement restrictions are imposed, cooking your food at home will not only motivate you to eat clean but also keep you safe as you stay indoors.
Keeping good health should always remain everyone’s priority in this pandemic. Take all necessary measures to keep you and your family safe. Exercising regularly, maintaining a positive outlook, eating healthily and staying safe will get us through these challenging times.