It’s incredibly difficult to keep issues hushed up. More so when people are frantic about the rising numbers of Covid-19 cases.
Even before it was reported in the media, there were rumours about a breakout of cases in the Klang Tengku Ampuan Rahimah hospital.
And even more speculations about a possible cover-up. There may be no basis to this gossip but the point is that people were panicking.
The recent spike in the number of Covid-19 cases in Klang doesn’t help, with public health experts warning we may have a “mini Sabah” in my constituency if the situation is not contained soon.
Thus, there is a need to manage information effectively to create confidence amongst local communities and businesses.
One such strategy is the “all of government” and “all of society” approach, where every possible resource available is used effectively.
Firstly, the Ministry of Health (MOH) needs to set up a Klang Covid-19 Response Team to stem anxiety and fear.
The members of the Response Team could involve MOH federal and state officials, health-based NGOs and professional bodies such as the Malaysian Medical Association (MMA), Malaysian Public Health Physicians Association, Majlis Perbandaran Kelang (MPK) and the Klang business community.
This team should monitor, create awareness, provide daily reports and, mobilise local communities and factories to address the significant increase in the number of Covid-19 cases in the area.
In addition, the Response team could bring onboard private sector doctors and medical facilities to complement the public sector in its efforts.
As transparency is key in addressing the pandemic, the Response team needs to provide a daily update on the situation in Klang/Kapar.
These updates will counter fake or false information that is rampant at this time creating confusion, fear and uncertainty.
It will also give the locals a sense of security and confidence to socialise outside their house including frequenting local business.
The Klang infections largely involve migrant workers in factories, followed by local community transmissions and most recently, infections in the Klang general hospital.
Klang health officials indicate that the infections among migrant workers is about 78 percent and locals 22 percent.
In the last 14 days, Klang and Kapar areas recorded 3,724 infections, plus 10 deaths. Currently, there are 4,318 active cases. The cumulative number of infections is about 11,378.
Yes, these statistics are frightening. Yes, people have a legitimate reason to panic.
So, let’s change our approach. Let’s bring all key stakeholders together and work towards a better solution.
Charles Santiago is the Member or Parliament for Klang.
- This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of CodeBlue.