KUALA LUMPUR: As news of the two-week total lockdown hit, business groups say the decision is unavoidable.
SME Association of Malaysia president Datuk Michael Kang said the association was supportive of the move, and hoped that there would be solution for businesses to survive.
“From our own survey, we found that a total lockdown might lead to a 40% shutdown of SMEs. So the government needs to come up with a win-win solution for all, ” he added.
He urged the government to embark on a massive nationwide swab test to trace the source of infections and stop the spread of Covid-19.
Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM), Penang, also backed the decision, with its president Jimmy Ong saying: “We understand the government had to do this. What we need now is the SOP to be announced quickly to avoid confusion and misunderstanding.”
He pledged to continue with mass testing of workers on the part of FMM.
Malaysian Chinese Tourism Association Perak Chapter chairman Jimmy Goh hoped that the lockdown would bring down Covid-19 infections.
“It’s time for the people to come together and sacrifice for two weeks, so things can get better, ” he said.
Medical Practitioners Coalition Association of Malaysia president Dr Raj Kumar Maharajah said the country needed to have a nationwide lockdown to see drastic changes.
“It is inevitable, looking at the number of cases, which has reached over 8,000. Our healthcare facilities are already on the brink of collapse and there is no other way, ” he added.
Malaysian Association of Public Health Physicians president Datuk Dr Zainal Ariffin Omar said although it came a bit late, the government made the right decision.
He said most public health experts had expected the lockdown to be implemented early last week.
“We really hope the rakyat will strictly follow the SOP, ” he said.
Universiti Malaya virologist Prof Dr Sazaly Abu Bakar echoed the view, saying the government had little choice.
“We have two weeks to break the cyclical chain of reactions. Covid-19 in Malaysia is a social-networking disease, ” he said, adding that the public must use the two week period to stay put at home.
Malaysian Society of Infectious Diseases and Chemotherapy president Prof Dr Zamberi Sekawi said the current method of relaxed movement control order was not working.
“The government has been gracious in allowing businesses to carry on but people are not complying to the SOP and we hear about cases of non-compliance almost daily, ’’ he added.
He said it was time people understood that the nation was in dire situation and was currently one of the worst hit in the world.
“Our medical frontliners are overwhelmed, our intensive care units are packed and the mortuaries are so full that they have to add on trailers to keep the remains because of the high number of Covid-19 deaths, ” he added.
Penang Hospital infectious disease consultant Dr Chow Ting Soo said the nation’s healthcare system has been stretched to the maximum.