THE Malaysian Health Coalition (MHC) supports the government’s decision to ensure consistency with the movement control order (MCO), such as keeping barber shops and beauty salons closed and cancelling all Ramadan bazaars this year.
We acknowledge that these measures are disappointing to many Malaysians or will hurt small businesses. However, we believe this is the right decision in order to contain the spread of Covid-19.
We urge the government to include medical, health and public health expertise when making decisions relating to the Covid-19 crisis. It is regrettable that some decisions for phase three of the MCO were made without the necessary input from medical, health and public health experts.
We urge the government to consider the following:
1. Decisions on a phased restart of the economy by other ministries or agencies must be made together with the Health Ministry and relevant medical health experts.
2. The government should prepare an exit strategy for the post-MCO period. This strategy must also be based on the advice of medical health and public health experts. We recommend establishing guidelines according to the colour-coded zoning system, where residents and businesses in “green” zones would have less restrictions than those in the “yellow” and “red” zones.
3. Large-scale disinfection and sanitisation efforts must follow evidence-based procedures. Using unproven methods, such as disinfection tunnels, can create different health risks.
4. The government should work with religious authorities, the Health Ministry and local authorities in adapting upcoming religious and cultural traditions to prevent mass gatherings that would further spread Covid-19.
MALAYSIAN HEALTH COALITION
44 member societies and 16 individuals