PETALING JAYA: The authorities have been urged to take action against those hoarding face masks, hand sanitisers and other personal protective equipment (PPE) in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The National Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Malaysia (NCCIM) and Associated Chinese Chambers of Commerce And Industry of Malaysia (ACCCIM) also want action taken against those marking up the prices of such critical items needed in containing the pandemic.
ACCCIM and NCCIM president Tan Sri Ter Leong Yap said the hoarding of such items would foil preventive initiatives to contain the spread of the disease.
“We have to prepare for the long haul, and any hoarding behaviour should be discouraged as it will destroy the entire prevention system, ” he said Monday (March 16).
Ter said the Government must manage the country’s stockpile of PPE, especially the production and supply of masks and sanitisers.
“Domestic producers have to prioritise the production and supply of masks to those who need it the most (the healthcare workers and vulnerable ones).”
He also called on the Government to ban export of masks and allow the employment of more foreign workers in factories involved in manufacturing PPE, including mask and gloves.
The Customs Department should also provide a green lane to facilitate the importation of PPE.
“The Sales and Services Tax and import duties on PPE and raw materials to produce PPE should be exempted, ” he said.
These are among the proposals made in support of initiatives undertaken by the authorities to contain Covid-19.
ACCCIM, with the support of the NCCIM, has set up an internal task force comprising medical personnel to co-ordinate and collaborate with the Health Ministry to distribute PPE and medical supplies in response to the ministry’s call for contributions in the wake of Covid-19 outbreak.
“I hope that ACCCIM’s modest contribution would bring some
comfort and relief to those affected by the virus, ” Ter said.
Malaysians were urged to abide by the ministry’s guidelines to prevent the highly contagious disease from spreading. They should observe stringent personal hygiene, practise “social distancing”, avoid crowded places and stay away from those displaying symptoms of infection.
“People with suspected symptoms should go under self-quarantine, and wear mask to prevent spreading the disease to others, ” he said.
The business community also called upon the authorities to look into the lockdown option to quickly contain the spread of Covid-19 if the situation warranted it.
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