We have recorded more than 5,000 new Covid-19 cases for three consecutive days. It should be very obvious by now that declaring emergency does not stop Covid-19 cases from increasing. In fact, it is proving to be quite pointless.
What needs to be done now and today is start being proactive and not reactive. The Health Ministry and the National Security Council chaired by the Prime Minister need to drastically improvise on contact tracing methods in terms of speed and urgency as more people are carrying the virus now.
Lack of efficiency in this area will lead to the spread of the virus to a point where we would not be able to control. By then, it would be too late and the Malaysian people’s effort and discipline during the first MCO will all be in vain.
Here are some of our suggestions:
- Deploy the armed forces to help with contact tracing and check compliance with Home Surveillance Order by calls and regular messaging;
- To authorise general practitioners (GPs) in the private sector to issue Quarantine Order / Home Surveillance Order (HSO). GPs need to be roped in to treat and follow up with Covid-19 patients displaying mild symptoms;
- Develop a standardised nationwide database and system, which allows all GPs to regularly update patient data, health conditions, quarantine status and discharge matter into the system. Failing to report will result in being penalised;
- Execute and implement extensive Covid-19 screening using RTK-Antigen for those with symptoms, those living in vulnerable areas, vulnerable age groups, as well as those with close contacts with positive cases. This must be followed with an effective home quarantine enforcement;
- Provide immediate treatment for patients with mild symptoms if RTK-Antigen shows positive result, and reconfirm with PCR test;
- All close contacts must be presumed as a positive patient until proven otherwise. They must undergo immediate home quarantine and undergo Covid-19 screening test;
- Conduct a strict selection of effective Covid-19 vaccines and accelerate the process of national immunisation and inform the public from time to time as to the progress as the public has a right to this information;
- Ensure all Covid Assessment Centres (CAC) operate 7 days a week during the pandemic and improve the CAC and PKD (district health office) 24 hours hotline management to ensure assistance and information are easily accessible.
Teo Nie Ching is the Member of Parliament for Kulai. Dr Goh Aik Ping is a general practitioner.
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