If the immigration and police really wish to do their duty, they must be subjected to the same strict health guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health to practice New Normal SOP in the workplace to prevent and control transmission of Covid-19.
Police and immigration must :
- Provide hand sanitisers and ensure everyone whom they are arresting is allowed to wash their hands first before stepping forward in front. The police must ensure proper hand-washing techniques are used, according to WHO (World Health Organization).
- Provide face masks to each and every one they are arresting. Police and immigration must ensure the face mask is placed around the nose, mouth and chin firmly, using the correct technique, with no chance of leakages at the side. These masks must be changed every day.
- Practice social distancing. Ensure everyone is standing or sitting at least one meter apart anywhere the police and immigration are instructing them to come forward and be present for inspection, or wait for further instruction and action. This is the most important key to control and prevent transmission of Covid-19 in public places. No one should be exempted from following this KEY public health control recommendation by WHO and Ministry of Health in this pandemic that our collective human society is facing.
- Follow government regulation prohibiting any form of gathering in public area. No one must be asked to gather and wait in large groups anywhere for any purpose. We have sacrificed our Friday prayers together, our Sunday Masses, our May Day march, our buka puasa events, and our coming Hari Raya and Gawai celebration gatherings. Police and immigration need to sacrifice too for the sake of public health and safety. Do not endanger yourself, your families, and us by your actions.
- Guarantee the Malaysian public that they, the police and immigration, in doing their duties, are in no way contributing to worsening of the Covid-19 pandemic in our beloved country, Malaysia.
Police and immigration must tell us they promise and will ensure that an outbreak will not happen among those arrested and detained. And the government will not be wasting our limited budget and our overworked, exhausted health care workers to manage these “waiting to explode bombs” in the future, in the police and immigration lockups and detention centres.
We are in this storm together. Citizens, non-citizens. Migrants, refugees, asylum seekers, stateless people, documented, not-documented.
We, those, and everyone, who happens to be already on our soil today, are facing the Covid-19 pandemic. Whether we like it or not. Whether we like each other or not. Yup, we are in it together. Same storm. Different boats.
We need all of society, all of government, all of police, all of immigration, all Ministers, all ADUNs, all Parliamentarians, to work together to win this war against Covid-19.
It is us verses the virus. Not us verses refugees.
We need to clearly recognise who is the enemy, the Covid-19 virus, this alarming public health emergency. We need to courageously do what is required of us as a society and stop endangering our safety and health.
Dr Cecilia Anthonysamy is an emergency physician at Hospital Serdang.
- This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of CodeBlue.