Know your role when you are in a lockdown

By Imran Ssemuddu

The battle against the deadly COVID-19 is still on. It is not too late to remind ourselves of the measures to fight and eradicate this global pandemic.  Hoping you are reading this at the comfort of your place of residence. Am sending you virtual warm hugs!

COVID-19 is reportedly spread nationwide and indeed in almost every corner of the world, which means that we ought to look out for each other like brothers and sisters. 

First thing, if you have not heard or known its symptoms, I am happy to remind you. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the most common symptoms are fever, tiredness and dry cough while it is also noted that some people may experience aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat and diarrhoea.

Secondly, and most importantly is to follow guidelines by the government  and authorities in our respective areas. However, I am dismayed that some people have violated the guidelines and this could accelerate the spread of the virus. Allow me to mention about the “ movement control order “ that has caused confusion among the people.

You need to understand that the Movement Control Order (MCO) has been imposed by the government to restrict the movement of the people by invoking two acts of Parliament; the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 and the Police Act 1967.

The instructional orders contained in the MCO include (a) prohibitions of gatherings (sports, religious, social and cultural activities) as well as mass movements, (b) prohibition on all travels abroad, (c) closure of all airports to non-citizens into the country, (d) closing of all institutions nationwide (kindergarten, government, and private schools primary and secondary, and universities), (e) comprehensive shut down of all private and government workplaces except for essential services. 

However, with the enforcement of the MCO, the government allows essential services to operate which include super market and wet market to sell essential items like foodstuffs and medical needs from 8 am-8 pm.

The Malaysian government has strictly laid out that those who violate the order will be subjected to the provisions of the laws for which they could be charged in the court of law.

According to the daily briefing given by a senior minister for security since the enforcement of the order, several arrests (in thousands) have been made throughout the country for such violation by those who defied the order. A number of these violators have also been charged and prosecuted in court. Many of these people who defied the order did not have good reasons for leaving their premises or houses during the MCO.

On social media, one Twitter user labeled the defiant case as “not so intelligent to visit friends for discussions during this period“. It just showed the arrogance of some without showing regard to the order and the law of the country. They are just being selfish knowing that they can easily be infected by the virus and spread the outbreak further.

Here we have a situation of partial lockdown because people are still allowed to go out to buy essential items and for emergency cases. The idea behind the MCO is to restrict movement of the people so that we can break the transmission of the COVID-19 virus and flatten the curve which means bringing down the cases of infections.

It is enforced with strict measures supervised by the police and the army personnel. Those areas marked as red zone due to extreme rise of cases are given extra attention so that the cases of infections will be thoroughly screened and tested using targeted approach. And people will be immediately refrained from movement in the area. The Ministry of Health revealed that a place is categorised as a red zone once it reaches more than 40 COVID-19 cases. Among those areas that have identified in this red zone are four districts in Kuala Lumpur (Lembah Pantai, Titiwangsa, Kepong, Cheras).

Generally, the Malaysian government has showed that the movement control order is a controlled strategy to ensure that everyone keeps a safe distance or practice social distancing to help curb the spread of the pandemic.

Just to remind everyone that there is still no vaccines available for treatment of COVID-19. There is still no cure. And that the virus is very contagious which can be spread easily. By following the guidelines you are actually playing a crucial part in a small way to help the government to curb the spread of the disease and flatten the pandemic curve. Do remain positive and play your part by staying at home, staying safe and staying healthy. ***

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *