PETALING JAYA: Malaysia should adopt strategies used by China to effectively combat and contain the Covid-19 outbreak, says the local business community.
National Chamber of Commerce and Industry Malaysia (NCCIM) and Associated Chinese Chambers of Commerce And Industry Malaysia (ACCCIM) president Tan Sri Ter Leong Yap said China had proven its capabilities in fighting and containing the virus.
“Malaysia could look into engaging China for medical assistance and technical support through government to government collaboration.“These include importing medical kits, equipment as well as medicines (from China), ” he said in a statement.
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.
They also proposed action against those hoarding or increasing the price of masks, sanitisers and other personal protective equipment (PPE).Ter said hoarding such items would frustrate steps taken to contain Covid-19.
“We have to prepare for the long haul, and any hoarding should be discouraged as it will destroy the entire prevention system, ” he said.
Ter said the government must manage the country’s stockpile of PPE, especially the production and supply of masks and sanitisers.
He also called upon the government to ban the export of masks and give the greenlight for companies to employ more foreign workers in factories involved in manufacturing PPE, including masks and gloves.“Local manufacturers have to prioritise the production and supply of masks for those who need it the most (the healthcare workers and vulnerable ones), ” he said.
He also called upon the Customs Department to provide a green lane for PPE imports.
“The Sales and Services Tax and import duties on PPE and raw materials to produce PPE should be exempted, ” he said.
ACCCIM, with the support of the NCCIM, has set up an internal task force to coordinate and collaborate with the Health Ministry to distribute PPE and medical supplies.
This was 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, ” he said.
He urged the public to follow the Health Ministry’s guidelines.
Malaysians should observe stringent personal hygiene, practise “social distancing”, avoid crowded places and stay away from those displaying symptoms of infection.
“People with symptoms should opt for self-quarantine, and wear masks to prevent spreading the disease to others, ” he said.
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