First and foremost, I must congratulate the wonderful people of Sabah who came in numbers to practice their constitutional right to vote in the local state elections. Many from far and near ensured that their vote counted. Kudos and congratulations.
However, a bigger danger awaits us after this milestone in our country — the spread of Covid-19 is still rampant, as we see the daily numbers especially those that come from Sabah goes up by the day. Here are a few concerns and solutions:
Those coming back to get a Covid-19 test
I sincerely hope that all those who are returning from Sabah ensure that they get a Covid-19 test. Please ensure that you are tested before you return to your daily lives. We sincerely hope that this will be done as sincerely as how you practiced your constitutional right to vote.
If your test is negative, do not think that you are scot-free. Remember, that there may be a latent period before one is in the symptomatic phase of having Covid-19. Please ensure that once you have had the test, please return home and self-quarantine for 14 days.
Remember, if at all possible, get another test after a week to ensure that you do not have Covid-19. Remember that though symptoms of cough, runny nose and upper respiratory tract symptoms of fast breathing might be present in some, many are asymptomatic.
Quarantine yourself for 14 days — no buts and/or ifs
Once coming back from a crowded and high-risk area, it is a must that you quarantine yourself. Do not wait for laws to be imposed or wait to be asked to quarantine — do it yourself.
Ensure that the spread of Covid-19 in Malaysia is contained and STRICTLY STAY HOME. Request from your office/ workplace if it at all possible to work from home and explain that you have returned from Sabah — practicing precaution. Show proof of travel so that they know your situation is genuine.
And just because you are quarantined or self-quarantined, doesn’t mean that you ignore preventive measures. Masking yourself, disinfecting materials, hand-washing, physical distancing and getting treatment early in case of any symptoms still remains at the top of your priority. Your family also deserves to be getting the same precaution as everyone else.
Remember to inform the health care professionals wherever you seek treatment about your recent travel so that they can do the necessary immediately including taking precautions for themselves.
Offices/ employers to consider exempting staff just traveling back from Sabah to work from home for 14 days
Employers, you play a very big role. If you identify/ know of/ staff informs you that they have recently travelled to Sabah (with proof), please ensure that you allow them to work from home and are given time to be away from the office.
This will help you in the long run — reduced closure of your work premise in the event someone is unfortunately diagnosed with Covid-19 after returning from Sabah. If they are working from home, ensure that they have got their tests upon their arrival back and a week after. This will ensure that you are doing the very best for your workers and visiting customers.
We all must remember that we cannot leave it to the Ministry of Health and health care professionals alone to curb Covid-19. Everyone plays a part. Sabahans — congratulations once again for practicing your constitutional rights.
Now we must all join and do our part for Malaysia to contain Covid-19
Dr Arvinder-Singh HS is a Medical Officer with a Certificate in Occupational Health, Masters in Health Research, Diploma in Football Medicine and is currently pursuing a PhD in Community Health focusing on adolescent athletes’ health.
- This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of CodeBlue.