Healthcare professionals urge M'sians to be calm, rational in face of coronavirus outbreak


  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 28 Jan 2020

PETALING JAYA: Healthcare professionals have urged Malaysians to be calm and professional in efforts to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV).

The group said it supports the efforts of the Health Ministry in protecting Malaysians and are confident with the leadership in the ministry.

"As such, we urge the rakyat, politicians, the media and stakeholders to act responsibly during this period.

"We understand the concerns of Malaysians who are worried about their health, as well as their families.

"However, during this time, the best measure is to remain calm and obtain valid information from official sources," said the group in a joint statement issued by healthcare professionals and associations.

The statement was jointly issued by 14 professionals including Dr Khor Swee Kheng; Mercy Malaysia founder Tan Sri Dr Jemilah Mahmood;

Universiti Malaya Dean of Medicine Prof Datuk Dr Adeeba Kamarulzaman; Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Dean of Medicine Prof Dr Raja Affendi

Raja Ali; Public Health Specialist Association president Datuk Dr Zainal Ariffin Omar; and Malaysian Medical Association president Dr N Ganabaskaran.

The group also urged Malaysians to follow the precautionary measures advised by the Health Ministry.

It added that Malaysia has strong and proven capabilities to handle outbreaks, and these efforts were commended by the World Health Organization.

“We ranked number 18 in the world in the Global Health Security Index compiled by the Johns Hopkins Centre for Health Security, ahead of Singapore and South Korea.

“A study in the British Medical Journal assessed Malaysia as the Most Prepared country for health security. Our health system is strong, safe and world-leading, ” they said.

The group said that Malaysia's health service is among the best in the world and it was proven when healthcare professionals in the country managed to handle previous outbreaks such as the Nipah virus in 1998,

SARS in 2003, H1N1 in 2009 and MERS in 2014.

The group said healthcare personnel work very hard daily to reduce dengue, tuberculosis, HIV as well as other serious diseases.

"Unfortunately, some Malaysians had acted irresponsibly by circulating false rumours and news on the social media platform.

"Our Yang Di-Pertuan Agong (Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah) has instructed the rakyat to stop spreading rumours and controversies and to remain calm," said the group.

It added that the temporary travel restriction on Chinese citizens from Wuhan and Hubei is also one measure to manage the outbreak.

“Therefore, we urge the rakyat, politicians, the media and all stakeholders to act responsibly.

"We must remain calm, practice recommended hygiene and precautionary measures, seek medical attention if we feel unwell and restrict our own domestic and international travel.

“We urge you to get information only from trusted and reliable sources, specifically the official channels of the Health Ministry.

"We urge you to be responsible on social media. Spreading false rumours or news is illegal and will distract the Health Ministry from important public health responses," they said.

The group said they also appreciate the courage, sacrifices and the professionalism of the Malaysian front-liners from the Health

Ministry.

“Together with the Health Ministry, we must keep them safe and healthy as they keep Malaysians safe and healthy.

"We must fight this outbreak together and keep our unity and social harmony. As your health professionals, we trust the Health Ministry to lead us safely.

"We are confident in our fellow health professionals and our health system, and we must all play our part to protect all Malaysians, ” they said.

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Healthcare , Preparedness , Rumours , Viral , Coronavirus

   

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