Authorities must use two weeks of EMCO wisely in Covid-19 battle, say health experts

  • Nation
  • Friday, 02 Jul 2021

PETALING JAYA: As the hours tick away before most of Selangor and Kuala Lumpur go under an enhanced movement control order (MCO), health experts have urged the authorities to wisely strategise their battle against Covid-19.

The next two weeks will be extremely crucial in breaking the chain of infections, they said.

Medical Practitioners Coalition Association of Malaysia (MPCAM) president Dr Raj Kumar Maharajah said two weeks of enhanced MCO should be enough to bring down Covid-19 figures, but stressed that the figures will not be immediately reflected.

"This is because infections today will only be seen in the statistics two weeks later," he said on Friday (July 2).

Dr Raj Kumar felt that the enhanced MCO should have been implemented about a month ago, given its adverse economic effects.

"We have wasted that precious month by declaring an MCO with hardly any enforcement. I'm disappointed that many small businesses will die and many people will undergo mental anguish because of it," he said.

"Civil servants and politicians may not realise this as they are salaried, whether there is an MCO or not," he added.

Prof Dr Moy Foong Ming of Universiti Malaya's Department of Social and Preventive Medicine suggested that mass testing is conducted, as she stressed the importance of "Find, Test, Trace and Isolate" for Covid-19 in enhanced MCO areas.

"During the two weeks of enhanced MCO, mass testing should be done on as many people as possible.

"RTK-Antigen test kits can be used in mass testing as the cost is much lower than PCR and results can be obtained within a few hours.

"Once confirmed, the patient should be isolated or admitted to hospital if needed. This will prevent further transmission into the households or community," she said.

Once daily Covid-19 figures reduce to an acceptable level, Dr Moy said Malaysia can then move on to the next phase of the National Recovery Plan.

She also stressed that even if figures decrease in the coming weeks, the authorities should not let their guard down, as monitoring of daily cases and infectivity rates must continue in addition to the strict enforcement of SOPs.

"In the meantime, vaccination should be provided to the individuals staying in enhanced MCO areas as soon as possible, in order to achieve 80% coverage."

An enhanced MCO will be enforced in most parts of Selangor and Kuala Lumpur from Saturday (July 3) to July 16 due to a surge in Covid-19 figures.

All residents in the enhanced MCO areas are not allowed to leave their homes except for one person from each household who will be allowed to buy basic necessities within 10km of their homes.

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