Covid-19: Medical association calls for more stringent, comprehensive strategies to control disease

Wong (centre) calling on the State Government to take more stringent measures against the spread of Covid-19.

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SIBU, Mar 14: Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) Sibu branch has come up with four proposals for the state government to consider in containing the spread of Covid-19.

Its chairman Dr Wong Chya Wei in speaking at a press conference today at SUPP Dudong office said the State Disaster Management Committee had indicated that Sarawak was facing the biggest potential pandemic the state had ever faced.

“We are of the view that more stringent measures must be taken to ensure that the Covid-19 will be better controlled and contained,” he said.

The first measure was that the state government must set up diagnostic test centres throughout the state.

“Without testing, we have no idea how extensive the infection is and who should be isolated. According to statistics of infection, 1 per cent of the population will be affected by the virus. Sarawak has a 3mil population, so based on the current trend of infection that would be 30,000 people or the whole of Sibu Jaya population,” he said.

Wong said they recommended all religious gatherings to be suspended for a period of 30 days on top of postponing all government and public gatherings involving more than 250 participants as had been ordered by the state government.

For its third proposal, the association suggested that Peninsular Malaysians be prohibited from entering the state for a period of 30 days due to the high number of cases there.

“Sarawakians who return to the state must undergo a 14-day supervised quarantine and be subject to random testing,” he said.

Wong said all schools should be closed for a period of 30 days.

“We are lucky that this coming week is a school holiday but if the infection continues to worsen, the state government should extend the closure of schools,” he added.

He strongly urged all these proposals to be implemented as the number of cases continue to rise in the country.

As of 10pm on March 12, Malaysia had reported 197 confirmed cases of Covid-19 infection.

“We can expect this figure to continue rising, especially after it was disclosed yesterday that there were 14,500 Malaysians who attended a missionary convention at Masjid Jamek Sri Petaling from Feb 27 to March 1.

“To be able to bring outbreaks under control, very aggressive measures must be taken effectively,” he said.

Meanwhile, SUPP Dudong chairman, Wong Ching Yong called on young doctors in the country to emulate their counterpart in China who volunteered to serve in hospitals crowded with Covid-19 patients.

“When Wuhan was declared on lockdown, these young doctors volunteered to serve in droves. We hope the spirit of those young Chinese doctors will be a model for all in the medical profession in the country,” he added.—DayakDaily