Ever since Prime Minister Muhyiddin announced the start of a more relaxed conditional MCO that is set to take place starting Monday (4th May), health experts have come forward to voice their concerns on the consequences of allowing businesses to reopen.
“This could result in Malaysia lurching from this MCO to another one a few months later,” said Azrul Mohd Khalib, the executive director of the Galen Centre for Health and Social Policy in a statement to FMT.
Azrul added that people might be confused over the new set of SOPs as they are only given the weekend to prepare before the enforcement of this new conditional MCO.
He went on to say how Putrajaya had made an abrupt turn from the current MCO instead of sharing a clear plan of action.
“The wiser thing to do would have been to make the announcement after 12th May, which was the scheduled date for the end of MCO phase 4,” he said.
“That would have given at least a week for preparation.”
But given all that has been said and done, the director stressed on the importance of the SOP being made available for public reference and use ASAP.
“Lack of preparation will result in the unsuccessful implementation of the SOP, increased risks, frustration, conflict, public tension, and most importantly, increased infection and spread of the disease.”
But Azrul isn’t the only one who shares this notion. President of the Association of Doctors Johor, Dr Ng Kim Fong said relaxing restrictions under the MCO would cause a spike in Covid-19 cases.
“The problem is, we need to do more testing,” he said, adding that the MCO should have continued according to plan until 12th May.
Ng is a cardiologist in Johor, a state that has suffered one of the hardest hits from this pandemic.
He stressed that the Conditional MCO doesn’t just put citizens in possible jeopardy. Health care workers are equally at risk.
“Most healthcare workers are worried,” he said.
However, he added that “this will be the new normal [and] people must continue to practise social distancing, wear masks and wash their hands regularly.”
What do you guys think? Do you agree with the government’s decision to loosen restrictions?
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