Experts: Be a smart traveller


  • Nation
  • Saturday, 13 Jun 2020

Bumper to bumper: Traffic building up during a heavy downpour at the Jalan Duta toll plaza heading north as city folk take advantage of the weekend to travel to their hometowns. — AZLINA ABDULLAH/The Star

PETALING JAYA: Those travelling back to their hometown this weekend should keep in mind that Covid-19 is still a threat, say health experts. Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) president Dr N. Ganabaskaran said Malaysians should not be complacent despite a decrease in the number of new infections in the country.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has not been nationally or globally declared over, ” he said yesterday.

“The new normal of physical distancing, personal hygiene, the wearing of face masks and frequent washing of hands should continue.

“Crowding, close contact (between family members, friends, and relatives), and the sharing of cutlery and crockery during meals should also be avoided, ” he added.

Such social distancing and the wearing of face masks were especially important when visiting the elderly and those with chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, asthma, kidney failure and cancer, he added.

“People with weak immune systems or those with underlying medical conditions may be at higher risk of contracting serious illness from Covid-19, ” he said.

Public health expert Datuk Dr Zainal Ariffin Omar urged those who feel unwell to postpone their travel plans, especially if they plan to visit elderly family members or those with a weaker constitution.

“Be a smart and safe traveller. Avoid the risks (of spreading or catching the coronavirus) by practising social distancing.

“Wear a face mask at all times when you are with people, and wash hands frequently or use hand sanitisers, ” said Dr Zainal Ariffin, who is Malaysian Public Health Physicians’ Association president.

Those who travel by private cars should also avoid stopping unnecessarily while on the road, he said.

“If possible, go straight to your destination.

“Bring food items and drinks for you and your family members (for sustenance in the car), ” he said.

He also reminded travellers to bring extra face masks and hand sanitisers for the journey and for usage when they are in their hometown.

“People should go for a medical check-up and notify the ministry as early as possible (if they have symptoms of Covid-19), ” he added.

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