On Jan 25th, Malaysia recorded its 1st Covid-19 case. 7 weeks later on March 17th, we had our 1st Covid death. The next day, the Prime Minister imposed the Movement Restriction order ( MRO) for 2 weeks till 31st March.
The MRO has been now been extended for a total of 4 weeks till 14th April.
2 months after Malaysia recorded its first case, we now have 1,796 COVID cases and 19 deaths.
Malaysia may not hit its peak cases yet, and the end of this pandemic doesn’t seem to be in sight.
The world currently has 418,935 cases and 18,727 deaths.
Italy has the highest number of deaths in the world at 6,820. We can see on CNN news, footage of army trucks taking away coffins for burial of those who died from Covid infection.
Many of the deaths are the elderly or those having multiple diseases.
It’s a very sad and lonely death for many. The last faces they see will be those of doctors or nurses with their faces hidden behind face shields, masks and clothed like an astronaut in hazmat suits. What is worse is if they died alone.
This pandemic is unprecedented in our lifetime.
We all need to step up and do our part. Failure is NOT an option.
It’s so encouraging and heartwarming to see so many doing so much.
We see the Ministry of Health’s healthcare workers as front liners, from those running the Covid wards to the Director General, working tirelessly with steely resolve.
We saw our PM mustering the political will to implement the MRO and mobilising all agencies to the task.
We even saw the King personally urging every Malaysian to stay home on national television. He went to the ground to see for himself the smooth running of the MRO.
Officials at all levels are working overtime and going beyond the call of duty to answer queries, attend to urgent agendas even past midnight. Communities are helping to provide food to those in need, supporting each other through this challenging time.
Make no mistake Malaysians, this pandemic is permanently changing the way we live. For once, the world will realise that we are all vulnerable, regardless of how advanced we are in the sciences, the height of our sky scrapers, or how fast our planes can fly.
But we can do more. Our diversity and resilience is going to be our strength in defeating this pandemic.
So if you are a politician, I urge you to close ranks, discard the political divide and work with everyone.
Help coordinate and make official efforts more coherent, introduce rescue packages, and increase much needed medical supplies.
Help dismantle bureaucratic redtape which obstruct speedy access to areas in need.
Accept feedback, both positive and negative, with an open heart and work towards addressing deficiencies and scaling up what works.
Act with speed. Time is not on our side and you need to go to the ground and see for yourself what the public are facing.
You need to also realise what is not your expertise and gather the experts to assist regardless of where they are from.
If you are a government official, I urge you to do every thing within your capacity to assist in the effort to facilitate requests or work towards meeting the needs of those suffering from the consequences of this devastating pandemic.
Think outside the box and do not let bureaucracy or heirarchy stop you from doing what is critically needed.
Accept help from all quarters as long as they are offered in good faith. Let’s work together for the common good.
If you are a health care professional, attached to the government or in the private sector, I urge you to do every thing you can within your capacity to help the situation. It might mean sharing some of your facemask supplies with another colleague who has run out, or educating your patients, family and friends about social distancing.
All Doctors should come together, stop finding faults with one another, and continue to work in support of each other to defeat this invisible enemy.
If you are a professional, I urge you to see in your area of expertise how you can help in this pandemic. A lawyer can advise on the protection of healthcare workers from patients not telling the truth. An engineer can help to see how we can turn dormant buildings into quarantine centres or more testing and care facilities.
If you are a member of the public, I urge you to stay home and practice social distancing and hand hygiene techniques.
Help in any way you can and encourage everyone to do the same. Cheer your friends up over the phone or online those suffering from boredom or stress because of the MRO.
We can all do more and need to take that little extra step to prove that Malaysian will come together to fight this pandemic regardless of race, religions, political affiliations, belief or socio-economic strata.
So step up Malaysians, and we shall overcome.
- This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of CodeBlue.