WITH Covid-19 not disappearing anytime soon, it really concerns me that there are people casually walking about without face masks.
In the past few weeks, I have come across a mother carrying a toddler and not wearing a mask, senior citizens congregating while waiting for free food and people not maintaining a safe distance from one another while exercising at a public park.
What if they had inadvertently come into close contact with someone who was asymptomatic?
A loved one at home, especially a small child or a baby, could end up catching the virus because of one person’s apathy.
Perhaps, these people still do not fully comprehend the seriousness of Covid-19 or rather believe that the low number of new cases recorded in Perak during this recovery movement control order (MCO) phase means that the worst is over.
Sharing my sentiment is Ipoh city councillor Prof Dr Richard Ng, who believes many are taking Covid-19 lightly.
“They are taking things for granted, believing that the virus is no longer a threat in the city.
“Many are back to their old habits and the SOP (standard operating procedures) is not being adhered to, ” he said.
“For instance, I was at the Ipoh train station last week.
“Although temperature checks were done on passengers there, I was not sure if their particulars were accurate.
“When it was time for boarding, the people were not following the social distancing rule of 1m apart although lines were drawn on the floor, ” Ng recalled.
He also claimed to have noticed some issues at coffeeshops where customers’ temperature was taken but they refused to record it, while some did not provide genuine information.
“There are also those who bring their young children or elderly folk out to shopping centres.
“Some shopowners I met said there were customers who did not adhere to the SOP and the shopowners would get an earful for being strict.
“On the other hand, I have also seen some eateries strictly following the SOP, turning away defiant customers as the owners are afraid of getting fined, ” he said.
Ng said the police must continue enforcing the rules strictly.
“I think it is the only way.
“As for the city council, we can only take action against businesses if they don’t observe the SOP.
“Everyone, including shopowners and traders, can do their part in promoting healthy living and the new normal, ” he added.
While the Covid-19 situation in Perak and Ipoh per se has, no doubt, improved, it does not mean that there are no risks in going out without personal protection and then flouting the SOP.
As of June 24, Perak recorded 258 confirmed cases of Covid-19, with 250 recovered cases.
Six have died while two are being treated.
In Ipoh alone, there have been 62 positive cases.
The last positive case detected on June 17 was a foreigner, who was asymptomatic.
The Health Ministry has advised the people to avoid the three “Cs” – crowded areas, confined spaces and close conversation – under the new norm.
People are also reminded to sanitise their hands, wear face masks in public and observe proper coughing etiquette, avoid touching, stay at home as much as possible and disinfect spots or places that are often touched – even if these safety measures are not mandatory.
Whenever I am out for work, I never go without a mask and I sanitise my hands whenever possible.
Once I reach home, I would head straight for a shower, sanitise the items that I brought out with me and wash my clothes immediately.
Covid-19 is still around and we should not let our guard down.
Call me paranoid but a little caution will not hurt.
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