THE CURRENT SITUATION - The situation now is worrying. If we look at last one month the number of new cases has not gone down.
Just look at April 2021, the total infected cases increased from 345500 on 1/4/2021 to 367977 on 15/4/2021 ie by 22523 cases over a span of 15 days and tThe trend for new cases is still going up.
ARE WE IN 4th OF COVID 19:
We are already entering 4th wave. The surge is obvious now looking at figures past 2 weeks.
WHAT CAUSED THE 4th WAVE?
MKN and MOH must review on the root cause of failure!
On the public side:
1) there is fatigue in complying with SOP
2) there is also confusion with SOP because Of frequent changes of SOP. There is also perceived double standard in enforcement of SOP.
3) there is some degree of complacency because of availability of vaccines soon (a phenomenon call Peltzman Effect)
On the Government side:
1) MOH has failed to increase the capacity for contact tracing.
2) The Government especially Ministry of Education has failed to adjust to pandemic when the schools reopen. The government departments and ministries are working in silo. The burden of pandemic control falls backed on MOH, and MOH is already severe handicapped by constrained resources.
WHAT MUST THE GOVERNMENT DO?
1. High risk activities/areas should be scrutinised closely for compliance with SOP. These include karaoke, Bars, Kenduri and air cond eateries. Must also monitor dormitories for foreign workers.
2. Increase capability for contact tracing. Each and every close contact of a new case must be identified, tested and isolated with 48 hours. This can only be done with additional 10,000 staff at MOH and adopt a whole of nation approach ie with the help of community leaders.
3. Activities involving gathering of large number of people must be forbidden. Eg not more than 50 person at any one time.
4. MOH must disclose more specific data on presence of active transmission in localities (Taman, flats , shopping centres, factories etc) so that ordinary citizen can take conscious approach to avoid those localities. localities with extensive virus transmission must be subjected to EMCO.
5. Interstate travel must stop until the number of new cases is down and/or MOH has built the capacity to track close contacts irrespective where the contact/new cases have travelled!
SHOULD MCO BE IMPLEMENTED ?
We must be prepared for a protracted battle (even with availability of vaccine) with this pandemic. Repeated blanket MCO IS NOT practical because of the impact on the economy.
MOH should plan a more targeted EMCO at localities with active transmission . The EMCO duration MUST BE LIMITED to NOT MORE THAN 2 WEEKS. This 2-week limit can be achieved if mass screening of the affected population can be done on Day 1 and Day 7 of EMCO. All negative cases can be allowed free movement after 2 negative tests.
Most businesses can survive 2 weeks of EMCO but not a repeated national lockdowns of indeterminate duration!
MOH must make use of Data to decide on EMCO!
WAS PROCLAMATION OF EMERGENCY NECESSARY
It is obvious now that Proclamation of Emergency was not for Covid-19. It was for political reason. It was to prevent the fall on minority PN government.
We went through a successful 1st lockdown in 18/3/2020 without proclaiming emergency.
What the emergency has enabled so far is only an ordinance to increase compounds for SOP violations. The flip-flop of the ordinance just prove that how important is for parliament to check and balance.
Now that practically all businesses were allowed to open, and yet Parliament remains closed. This is despite the fact that all MP are vaccinated! Isn’t this ironical!