FIVE siblings in Port Dickson, Negri Sembilan lost their parents to Covid-19 in a matter of days, as the current wave of coronavirus infections continue to wreak havoc in communities.
All five, with the oldest being 23, also tested positive but have since recovered.
In Selangor, a 10-year-old girl lost her 78-year-old grandfather to the virus after the latter apparently contracted it from a friend he met for teh tarik.
The grandfather’s friend had taken a Covid-19 test before their meetup but the deceased was neither aware of this nor of the result, which came back positive soon after. His six family members also fell sick after him but fortunately, all of them recovered.
A 79-year-old man, who had a mentally-challenged son to care for, died at a Seremban hospital in Negri Sembilan after contracting the virus from a friend who visited him at his home.
The deceased received oxygen and steroid treatment for more than a week before succumbing to Covid-19.
These are just a few of the heart-wrenching stories that have surfaced over the past few weeks.
Countless families, who have no clue as to how the virus infiltrated their homes, suffered similar heartbreaking fates.
The reckless attitude of some has brought untold grief to numerous families.
Despite the chaos caused by the virus, too many people still remain nonchalant.
This tidak apa attitude may be one of the reasons Malaysia’s healthcare system is being overburdened and overwhelmed by Covid-19 patients.
When lives are at stake, all of us have to play our part and make sacrifices for the greater good. There are no two ways about it.
It was recently reported that many managed to bypass police roadblocks despite the interstate travel restrictions implemented.
The authorities say a reckless attitude created many clusters and caused deaths in families. Districts that were for the longest time green zones, turned red within days.
This brings us to provisions in the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases (PCID) Act 1988 which, among others, stipulates that it is an offence if one does not disclose information of contact with Covid-19 patients.
It also states that anyone who thinks they may be infected with a virus cannot put others at risk or act in a manner that can cause the virus to spread.
Section 22(d) of PCID further stipulates that anyone who provides false or misleading information related to the Act commits an offence and has to face a penalty.
Those guilty of a first offence can be imprisoned for up to two years or fined or both, while those who run foul of the law for a second or subsequent time will face up to five years’ jail or a fine or both.
Doctors and lawyers, among others, have expressed concern over several cases involving sick Malaysians who deliberately kept silent when asked if they had been exposed or come into contact with Covid-19 patients.
Yes, it is an arduous task to prove if those who ignored the no-travel rule were responsible for the deaths in their families or communities but the authorities must probe into this.
When we have legislation to penalise recalcitrant individuals, why is it not effectively used as a deterrent?
Although people are being fined for failing to observe the National Security Council’s standard operating procedure such as wearing face masks, adopting physical distancing and checking-in at premises by scanning the MySejahtera QR code, all of these are insufficient to break the Covid-19 chain.
There are also claims of individuals who tested positive for Covid-19 yet went back to their hometowns across state borders despite knowing they should not have done so.
We have also seen video clips on social media showing Covid-19-positive people being kissed and hugged by their loved ones when they were picked up by the ambulance.
Stern action must be taken against individuals who knowingly endanger others, or else this lockdown will not end anytime soon.
If we are to effectively rein in the cases, it is high time the authorities crack the whip on those who continue to violate the law by failing to reveal their travel history, visiting others when they show symptoms, hiding their Covid-19-positive status or leaving their homes during quarantine.
Hospitals are already running out of ICU beds as the nation continues to report four-figure new cases daily.
In recent weeks, the average death toll is 92 people a day, forcing authorities to store their remains in containers while the queues to perform the last rites get longer.
The dead are being buried in the wee hours of the morning and existing cemeteries are fast running out of space as fatalities increase.
More than 3,400 people have died from Covid-19 and if we still have not learned anything by now, we never will.