Vaccines will help, but the pandemic is a marathon, not a sprint

MALAYSIA beat the first two waves through a combination of stringent policies and high citizen compliance. That was aided by public policies anchored by the Health Ministry (MOH) and transparently communicated.

As the pandemic progressed, public policies became more inconsistent with different ministries and agencies pulling in separate directions.

Epidemiology data, public health statistics and healthcare utilisation rates are transparent in other countries but became politicised in Malaysia, according to the Malaysian Health Coalition (MHC).

“We must return to a consistent Government, including federal-state and inter-agency coordination. That Government must be confident in data-sharing as citizens have a right to know the rationale behind public policies,” justified MHC in a statement today.

“Although the best of our health system was proven, the pandemic also shone a spotlight on areas for improvement. For example, we need better treatment for our younger doctors, nurses, pharmacists and dentists.”

MHC was established in March 2020, just before the movement control order (MCO) was introduced.

Since then, over 50 organisations and individuals have come together intending to support MOH to protect the health of all Malaysians.

MHC pointed out that while they understand that many Malaysians are fatigued and have faced significant hardship this year, they advised all to be resilient.

“As the vaccines are delivered throughout 2021, we urge the rakyat to continue following standard operating procedures (SOPs) and to act responsibly. We are all responsible for vaccine confidence and to fight fake news, rumours and harmful information about the vaccines and about our pandemic effort.”

Above all else, MHC appeals to the Government to include all sections of society (experts, the private sector, non-governmental agencies, academia, think-tanks and citizens) in strategy-setting and delivery. – Dec 30, 2020

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