Keep public informed, be transparent on Covid-19 related info, govt told

Lina Soo

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KUCHING, March 22: Sarawak People’s Aspiration Party (Aspirasi) has told the federal and state governments to be transparent in dealing with Covid-19 and disseminate the latest information to the public immediately.

Party president Lina Soo, in a statement, said efforts to fight Covid-19 must be based on scientific evidence and facts.

“Both Malaysia and Sarawak government should observe openness, transparency and keeping the public fully informed in dealing with the Covid-19, in order to win public trust and support.

“The government must not allow panic, fear and phobias to be played out. It is only with the spirit of collaboration and esprit de corps that a crisis such as Covid-19 can be overcome,” she added.

Soo said the party supports the move by the government to deploy armed forces personnel to assist the police to enforce the Movement Control Order (MCO).

”The move is justified as the resources are stretched and this involves the security of the country in the face of a global pandemic, where not just land forces but air and naval forces may also be called upon if the need arises.”

Soo said many people have the wrong perception of military operations, which had led to unnecessary fear and panic to the public.

She explained that military operations other than war can be invoked in response to the need for humanitarian assistance, disaster relief and other domestic crisis such as an epidemic, which threatens lives and livelihoods.

“In this respect, Aspirasi supports the government’s effort to deploy the armed forces to combat the Covid-19 national crisis,” she said.

Soo called for a severe and stringent measures to be taken to prevent Malaysia from tracking the paths of Italy, Iran or Spain.

She warned that as medical supplies and protective personal equipment (PPE) run short with some doctors and Covid-19 care givers succumbing to the virus, healthcare worldwide is running close to system failure.

She reminded that Malaysia has breached the 1,100 mark and nine deaths, with thousands more waiting to be tracked and tested.

“The fact is, the infected persons and deaths that we continue to hear are not just numbers, they are people,” she continued.

Soo said testing of potential victims who have been exposed to Covid-19 must continue relentlessly, with mitigation actions taken, otherwise the virus will spread through the community like wildfire. — DayakDaily