We refer to the updated TASKA guidelines/SOP from the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development – “Panduan Pencegahan Penularan COVID-19 Pasca Perintah Kawalan Pergerakan Bagi Keselamatan Warga Taman Asuhan Kanak-Kanak (TASKA)” — which states in Appendix 12, Section 2.1.2 that “Anak-anak frontliners adalah berisiko tinggi untuk mendapat jangkitan daripada ibu bapa mereka. Tempat yang paling selamat untuk anak-anak ini adalah penjagaan di rumah. Walau bagaimanapun, sekiranya anak-anak petugas frontliners dihantar ke Taska, mereka perlu diasingkan daripada anak-anak yang lain.”
The Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) finds it disturbing and is shocked that such a policy had been approved by the Ministry concerned and circulated by the Welfare Department.
Frontliners and their children should not be subject to such discriminatory policies and practices. It is unacceptable.
The SOP, revised 22nd May 2020, was circulated by the Welfare Department.
The Health Ministry should have been consulted on the SOP. The country is faced with a pandemic. A global pandemic. All ministries should be working closely with the Health Ministry.
We urge the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry to consult the Health Ministry on the appropriate and recommended preventive measures for TASKAs in the country.
Many frontliners had also been offended by this section in the TASKA’s guidelines/SOP. We do hope the ministry concerned will swiftly address the matter with an appropriate response.
Dr N. Ganabaskaran is President of the Malaysian Medical Association.
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