PETALING JAYA: As Covid-19 cases continue to record a surge in new daily infections and deaths, Malaysians have called for a full implementation of the movement control order (MCO) and stricter standard operating procedures (SOPs).
On social media, many Malaysians argued that the only way to bring down Covid-19 figures is to enforce a complete lockdown nationwide, given the slew of SOP violations.
“Please impose a total MCO for three weeks nationwide. Businesses may suffer but it will pick up stronger when people are healthy.
“Stop all the blame on the economic downfall just to satisfy certain quarters. The MCO now is like a pre-celebration for nothing and people’s lives are in danger,” said Lee Dennis on Facebook on Wednesday (May 19).
Lee also said it is pointless to build more emergency centres, as it would not drive daily infection figures down.
“Keep everyone at home and stay safe. Let frontliners do their duties gracefully.”
The same call was made by Joanne Koay, who argued that if there are no restrictions to stem travel, Covid-19 is only going to spread further into the community.
“Time for a full force MCO 3.0. Advising people to stay at home is crucial. People in ‘economic activities’ bring viruses home to those who stay at home,” she said.
Others have echoed concerns raised by Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah over the surge in Covid-19 figures recently, saying it is vital for society to abide by SOPs at all times.
“Reading between the lines, it seems that the DG wants us to be more disciplined like we were in MCO 1.0 rather than 3.0. He knows more than us on the sporadic cases. If he has authority, he would impose MCO 1.0,” commented Haiza M Noor.
Some are criticising the slow pace of the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme, as implementing another full-scale MCO could trigger unprecedented economic fallout.
“Why not talk about the vaccine. Total lockdown will make the lower income group suffer more. Anxiety, fear and depression. Many are losing their jobs,” commented Angelin Samuel.
This was echoed by Dr Chandrasegaran Shanmugam, who argued that mass vaccination is the only way to achieve the herd immunity target.
He proposed that the government engage doctors and nurses from the private sector as volunteers.
“Set up centres in each state assembly to provide free RTK testing. Test, isolate and manage. Give RM500 assistance to B40 groups for six months.
“Allow travel for those who completed vaccination,” he added.
On Tuesday (May 18), Malaysia recorded 4,865 new Covid-19 cases and 47 deaths.
The country is under the third MCO, where movement is restricted and the sports/recreation, education and social sectors are closed.
The economic sector, however, remains open.
Recently, the Health Ministry said it is mulling stricter SOPs or even a full-scale MCO in Selangor if the state, which has recorded high daily case numbers recently, fails to curb Covid-19.