PETALING JAYA: The Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry (KPDNHEP) needs to ensure there is enough personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers following the rise in Covid-19 cases in the country, says the Malaysian Medical Association (MMA).
Association president Dr N Ganabaskaran (pic) said that while the Health Ministry and its personnel have been working around the clock since the spread of Covid-19 in the country, other ministries have yet to play their part in helping to combat the spread of the virus.
"There has been an acute shortage of PPE for healthcare workers, especially in the private sector, hence KPDNHEP should play an important role in making sure there is sufficient supply.
"Many other countries have ordered their local manufacturers to support the local market first, while we were informed a decision was made but not implemented," said Dr Ganabaskaran in a statement Monday (March 16).
He added that the National Disaster Management Agency (Nadma) needed to play a role in screening the participants of the tabligh programme in Masjid Jamek Sri Petaling, as the participants ran into the thousands.
"It must be noted that the Health Ministry has limited powers when it comes to enforcement.
"Nadma should work and assist the ministry in tracking and screening the 14,500 Malaysian participants, even if it means mobilising the army," he added.
He said that all ministries in the country should support the Health Ministry in this time of crisis.
"The sudden rise in Covid-19 cases with 190 newly reported cases (as of Sunday, March 15) traced back to the tabligh gathering should have raised the alarm on the importance of social distancing.
"Yet we have noticed certain ministries have ignored the advice given by the Prime Minister (Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin) and continue to hold large gatherings.
"Covid-19 containment is a collective responsibility of all the ministries and ministers, not just the Health Ministry.
"We urge all the newly-minted ministers to show some level of urgency and seriousness in handling this national issue," he said.
"There must only be one voice and one direction from the top with the political will to decree what will keep Malaysians and their families safe and healthy as we fight this together," he added.
He said that MMA was ready to assist the government in the fight against the larger spread of Covid-19.
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