Earlier today (11 April), the Malaysian Health Coalition (MHC) released a press statement urging the Malaysian government to consider the additional measures during the Movement Control Order (MCO) Phase 3.
The apolitical coalition that consists of 42 member societies and 16 individuals had come up with five suggestions for the government to look into to support the flattening of the curve in regards to the outbreak of Covid-19 in Malaysia. While the coalition supports the government’s decision to extend the MCO until 28 April, they hope that the “new normal” that Malaysians are supposed to get used to can be supported with the measures they suggested.
Here is a list of FIVE measures the MHC stated:
- Increase testing capabilities
- Preserve routine healthcare services
- Activate public-private partnerships
- Introduce risk-based guidelines for the post-MCO period
- Increase support for vulnerable communities
Basically, the MHC is calling for mass testing to determine the accurate picture of the pandemic as well as to cut down on the asymptomatic transmissions which could lead to future spikes of cases. They’re also calling for transparency of all testing data and information for effective contact tracing and surveillance.
As for their second suggested measure — preserve routine healthcare service, the MHC raised concerns on Malaysian’s physical and mental health because the extended physical distancing may negatively impact us. Therefore, they thought it was necessary to preserve the routine healthcare services despite the implementation and extension of MCO.
“We suggest utilising technology and telecommunications infrastructure, such as telephone hotlines and video calls, as well as activating public-private partnerships in order to deliver necessary services.”
The coalition also urged both public and private healthcare services such as hospitals, clinics, pharmacies and laboratories to provide the capacity to beat Covid-19.
Seeing how MCO will be lifted eventually, the MHC pressed that a clear guideline should be established for all sectors. As Malaysians return to the workforce to restart the country’s economy, the coalition thought that it would be better if the community can utilise a colour-coded risk-based system. For example, people living in “green” districts may be allowed to use public parks while practising safe distancing and businesses that are allowed to reopen should also be given a guideline on proper infection control methods.
Lastly, the coalition calls for increased support for the vulnerable communities such as the B40 economic group, which comprises Malaysia’s indigenous population, daily wage workers, immigrant populations, refugees and rural citizens. The coalition understands that the MCO will impact the livelihoods of these communities, so they’re urging the government to guarantee their food security and economic welfare.
The MHC that was established on 1 March 2020 has the purpose of protecting Malaysian citizens’ health by uniting health professionals as well as to support the Ministry of Health. Their existence is to reassure the citizens by providing relevant information and instructions during this difficult time. It should be made understandable that our lives will not go back to what we knew as “normal” right after MCO, with new regulations and measures being enforced, we are expected to get used to the “new normal” for weeks and even months to come.
We’re glad to see how the welfare of Malaysians are prioritised by the coalition and hopefully, the government will be able to consider these additional measures to ensure everyone’s safety and health.
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