The Malaysian Parliament is a very important institution in this country. The rakyat need to hear the views of all parliamentarians in response to the various ongoing crises in Malaysia.
Covid-19 will be with us for the foreseeable future. The Malaysian Parliament and parliamentarians need to set a good example to ensure the continuation of work and business in a safe environment during this pandemic. Standard operating procedures (SOPs) should be enforced to ensure the safe continuation of Parliament and its sittings.
The Parliament is a workplace environment, and everyone in it should follow workplace SOPs. Community-linked cases will continue to occur.
However, strict infection control and social measures are key to preventing Covid-19 transmission within Parliament. Preventive infection control measures include appropriate face-mask use and physical distancing. Social gatherings should not be allowed.
As a measure of special precaution, for now, drinks and meals should be consumed individually. Everyone within the premises must always follow the SOPs to decrease the risk of transmission.
In line with national SOPs, various locations within Parliament should also use MySejahtera QR codes for easier close-contact identification. Alternatively, geo-tagging contact tracing systems may be used to ensure the safety of all parliamentarians.
Anonymised location data may be collected for more efficient close contact identification. Smarter automatised contact tracing systems should help reduce the risk of transmission within Parliament.
There are many examples we can follow to ensure that Parliament stays open, even with the high number of Covid-19 cases in the community. Since the beginning of the pandemic, hospitals have never closed their doors as they follow strict SOPs. SOP adherence is vital for effective prevention and control of Covid-19 in hospitals.
Many essential workplaces continue to function despite the raging pandemic. The Malaysian Parliament is an essential workplace and should continue to function under very strict workplace SOPs.
Prof Dr Victor Hoe and Prof Dr Sanjay Rampal are from the Department of Social & Preventive Medicine, University of Malaya.
- This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of CodeBlue.