JOHOR BARU: The government should look at strengthening Covid-19 standard operating procedures (SOP) instead of the lockdown which may not be the best way to deal with the pandemic, says a Johor Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia leader.
Datuk Izhar Ahmad, who is the state investment, cooperatives, entrepreneurship development and human resource committee chairman, said strengthening SOP enforcement and promoting awareness would also help curb the spread of Covid-19.
"We are dealing with two situations at the moment. On one hand, we have economic issues and on the other, we have the pandemic," he said on Monday (June 21).
"When we imposed the lockdown, many people are still on the move for some reason, so it will not be effective but would further collapse the economy.
"We will be killing off all kinds of sectors and it will take 10 years or more to rebuild."
Izhar, who is also Larkin assemblyman, added that the government should focus on strengthening SOPs while allowing the economic sector to continue functioning with close supervision.
"I believe this is a better course of action than to completely stop people from moving. People will still move if they are hungry," he said.
He added that face shields should also be made compulsory and advocated tightening SOP adherence by the public to approach the same level as what is practised by frontliners.
"Our medical frontliners deal with Covid-19 patients every single day and are in close contact with them but are still able to protect themselves as they have strong adherence to SOPs.
"We need to follow these SOPs and assume that everyone we meet is Covid-19 positive," he added.
Izhar felt that if the lockdown continues over a long period, it would lead to mass retrenchment and more businesses going bankrupt.