Covid-19’s turning point in Malaysia

By Dr Arvinder-Singh HS

IT is that time again where we are at the crossroads in our quest to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.

I sound like a broken record I realised, but the facts and my stand remain the same.

We are at war with a notorious little virus that has more than once threatened to finish off the existence of humanity in many countries.

Leaving out the testing capabilities and numbers for a while, we are fortunate that we have controlled the pandemic in Malaysia, for the moment.

Why do I say that? Well, we have come to a time where there is again another festive celebration in Malaysia.

It is a make or break time for Malaysia in terms of the pandemic.

Look at the erratic numbers daily: we are dancing a very fine line here.

The control of the pandemic has largely depended on Malaysians after the movement control order was lifted.

However, time and again, we see many Malaysians ignoring the SOPs, not using the SELangkah or MySejahtera app to check-in during their visits nor do they write down phone numbers accurately.

These are all irresponsible behaviour that must be curbed.

I strongly urge Malaysians, especially our Muslim brethren who will be celebrating Hari Raya Haji soon to please adhere to the SOPs.

Remember that we need to avoid confined and crowded areas.

I know we will have another day before the compulsory mask-wearing comes into effect, but please wear a mask at all times when in public areas or when receiving guests.

Do not forget social distancing is the key along with proper hand-washing, hand-sanitising, disinfection of materials are key things that can be done to ensure that we do not see new infection clusters after Raya.

Remember, no matter how much we would like to embrace our family and guests, be wary of our salam and hugging. Let it wait please.

A few days ago, our former health minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad had rightly put it.

We are not out of the pandemic yet and relaxing SOPs will only make things worse.

Think of it as a war. Relaxing for a bit will always give a chance for the virus to re-group and gain more ammunition for attack.

Opt to stay indoors, follow more stringent SOPs and have a happy Raya everyone.

Remember, we sacrifice all celebrations for a year, we get to live our lifetime happier without the virus.

As we also approach our Independence Day, remember our dream is to also be a nation independent and free from this virus as well.

In conjunction with that, allow me to welcome the national month with a pantun.

Bulan merdeka bulan yang mulia,

Mendengar laungan Tunku membawa air mata,

Nasihat sudah diberi berpada-pada,

Sila pakai masker atau anda akan di denda. – July 25, 2020.

*Dr Arvinder-Singh HS is a medical officer with a certificate in occupational health, Masters in Health Research, Diploma in Football Medicine and currently pursuing a PhD in Community Health focusing on health of adolescent athletes.

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