Malaysians welcome move to allow some physical activities during lockdown, caution that SOPs must be followed strictly

PETALING JAYA: With individual physical activities such as jogging and non-contact sports allowed to resume during the two-week total lockdown, health-conscious Malaysians can breathe a sigh of relief, but some have expressed concern on whether the activities will contribute to the spread of Covid-19.

Joshua Ponnundorai commented on Facebook that the decision to allow individual sports and jogging will be good for people's health, as long as precautions are strictly adhered to.

"Just follow the SOP (standard operating procedure) and stop being judgmental and more tolerant of everyone’s choices, as long as we adhere to the SOP.

"There is more than enough data to show what the real sources of clusters are, and I'm pretty sure jogging isn't one of them," he said.

Joshua believes that it is good that large public parks are closed down, as jogging should be confined to the housing area and residential playgrounds with all benches sealed off, in order to limit jogging for only short periods.

Facebook user Edward Clayton, meanwhile, said that people with sedentary lifestyles will be more likely to develop severe symptoms of Covid-19 if they are infected.

"Observations show that inactive people who catch Covid-19 are far more likely to end up in ICU and on a ventilator than those who take regular exercise.

"We should make it compulsory for everyone who is able to do a proper exercise session three times a week. And that can’t be done inside your home unless you have a full gym set there," he commented.

Facebook user Ginger Tea, however, advised joggers to be cautious to avoid the spread of Covid-19 to others should any of them be an asymptomatic carrier of the coronavirus.

"What if the jogger is a silent carrier of the virus? Along the way while he is jogging, he will surely open his mouth to inhale and exhale and he is actually blowing out the virus from his mouth into the air.

"To joggers, please think twice even if you think you are a SOP jogger. Be a responsible rakyat if you think jogging is harmless," she said.

Similarly, Fren Sammy opined that outdoor activities and jogging should not be allowed, as the virus can be spread easily due to the nature of the activity.

"No jogging, no outdoor activity please. The virus can spread easily when people start breathing harder while running or jogging.

"They can do some exercise in the house to improve their immunity," he said.

Many others reminded that people should not take advantage of the permission to exercise by doing other activities that could contribute to the spread of the virus.

"You can jog but after jogging, do not gather around. After jogging, go home straight away. Or else, it does not serve any purpose of individual sport and no contact with any human being," Aimara Sakura warned.

Somasundaram Venkareswaran pointed out that no amount of law or SOPs will work if people do not practice self regulation.

"It has to be a self-driven initiative. It is not possible for the government to supervise and enforce the laws on 32 million people. Let us all get realistic and practical," he said.

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Covid-19 , jogging , joggers , physical activities


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