PETALING JAYA: The government should consider a lockdown for the next two weeks to help contain the spread of Covid-19, says Charles Santiago.
The Klang DAP lawmaker said the government needs to act before it becomes too late, adding that a lockdown will force people to stay home unless they need to go out for food, medicine or in an event of an emergency.
The lockdown, said Santiago, should then be reviewed at the end of the fortnight.
Santiago said some countries such as Spain is under lockdown, while Canada has announced a stimulus package to help its citizens cope with increasing expenses.
He said even Singapore has called for all Friday prayers in mosques to be stopped.
"We haven’t seen a clear policy statement from Perikatan Nasional, other than the government urging people not to gather in large crowds.
"But that hasn’t stopped people from doing so since it’s not mandatory.
"We need tougher action that will help curb the fast-rising infection rate or we may see a drastic increase in cases in the coming weeks.
"I, therefore, hope the government will give due consideration to a lockdown as Prime Minister, (Tan Sri) Muhyiddin Yassin, meets his ministers on Monday (March 16) to discuss the way forward," said Santiago in a statement.
On Sunday (March 15) alone, Malaysia recorded 190 new cases, bringing the total number to 428.
Santiago said the number of cases is increasing but business remains as usual for many in the country.
"But if we drive around Kuala Lumpur, we will see people in restaurants, cafes, coffee bars, cinemas, night markets and places of worship.
"Businesses and shops remain open. And if not for the school holidays, our schools would be open as well.
"We need to observe how Italy had 200 cases three weeks ago and now more than 20,000 infections," said Santiago.
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