Public: More can be done to stop rapid spread


Points of view: Mohan (left) says SOP implementation leaves much to be desired, while Yeoh urges the government to step up enforcement.

PETALING JAYA: Malaysian professionals feel there is much room for improvement when it comes to observing established standard operating procedure (SOP) to battle Covid-19. R. Mohan Babu, 24, said while Malaysia’s SOP were comparatively much more organised compared to those in Indonesia, the implementation still leaves much to be desired, especially in Selangor, where cases had been increasing significantly lately.

“Most of the restaurants or general shop operators are not aware of the correct way to take the temperature of customers, ” said Mohan, who studied a few months in Indonesia before returning home.

“Most of them do not even know what normal body temperature should be. Some even let customers in without taking their temperature.“I would suggest that the Health Ministry enhance public service announcements to educate both business operators and the public on the normal body temperature and Covid-19 symptoms, ” said Mohan.

Yeoh Hui Pheng, 50, is not surprised to see the number of cases in Selangor increasing.

“During the early stage of the recovery movement control order (MCO), the restaurants were doing a an excellent job in following the SOP by disinfecting tables and utensils for every customer, but it is a different story now.

“Most restaurants just casually allow people to come in without any safety measures, ” Yeoh said, urging the government to step up enforcement on such premises to ensure they are following the SOP.

“There are shops and restaurants that skip the mandatory temperature checks, and even use a broken one (thermometer) just for show.”

She added that the public must be aware of the correct way to wear face masks and encouraged parents to be more vigilant of their children’s safety.“I always tell my children to stay home more and avoid big gatherings. Every time they get home, I remind them to clean themselves immediately, ” said Yeoh.

Nurul Shazwani Suhaimi, 23, who works near NU Sentral, Kuala Lumpur, is careful about common surfaces she touches, especially since she uses the trains as her main transportation.

“The latest case that happened in NU Sentral a few days ago shocked me. I have always been prepared for this and followed every SOP, but when it really happened, I became more paranoid and scared.

“Thankfully, my company decided to make it compulsory for everyone to work from home in order to reduce the risk of being exposed to the virus, ” said the executive, who added that the public need to be more responsible.

“I often see families with children at the mall, but not following the guidelines.

“On some occasions, their kids were not even wearing face masks, ” said Nurul.

She added that preventing the virus from spreading is everyone’s responsibility.

“We must not forget the fact that the war against the virus has yet to end, hence we must not feel too comfortable just because the number of cases in certain states are not high, ” she added.

Another public transport user, Lim Yen Ying, 35, agreed that there are inconsistencies in the execution of SOPs.

“For example, if we are dining in restaurants, we are supposed to physically distance ourselves from each other, but when it comes to public transportation, there is no specific rider limit, and users end up squeezing in trains or buses, ” said Lim.

She added some shop operators tend to leave their temperature screening stations unattended, leaving customers to check their own temperatures.

“This would be a problem as some members of the public would not declare their symptoms, and simply go into the premises even with a fever, ” she said.

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