Decreasing COVID-19 infection rates no reason for complacency

THE number of new COVID-19 cases have fallen to just over 1,000 cases from the more than 5,000 peak a few weeks back, but this is not the time to be complacent, Malaysia!

Last year, the country had successfully controlled the first wave of infections within a few months of imposing the movement control order (MCO). By the time we celebrated national day, we had breathed a collective sigh of relief, as it appeared that Malaysia has brought COVID-19 to heel.

But two months later, the country was confronted with a brutal resurgence of the virus, with the Sabah state polls being one of the main causes of the huge surge of cases. Amid the finger-pointing, the damage was already done, and the number of daily cases saw a gradual increase to this day.

What has caused the resurgence of the virus, you ask? Well, the answer is simple: we got too complacent.

While it is easy to blame the Malaysian Government for failing to control the outbreak, we often forget that ordinary people like you and me, too, have a big role to play to reduce and slow the transmission of COVID-19. And if anything, what happened in Sabah and the ensuing rise of the third wave of COVID-19 infections should serve as a lesson to us all.

As such, strict standard operating procedures (SOPs) must be maintained at all times. We should not immediately do away with the SOPs that had been preached to us since the first MCO just because various MCO SOPs have been relaxed in the past few weeks.

Many people are feeling hopeful for the first time in a long time due to the recent roll-out of the COVID-19 vaccines, coupled with the high recovery rate and gradual decrease in the number of active cases, but this is not the time to let our guards down just yet. – March 18, 2021


Photo credit: East Asia Forum

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