National Security Council must maximise the potential of SMS to reach the people

KUALA LUMPUR: The potential of the short messaging service (SMS) platform utilised by the National Security Council (NSC) must be maximised to promote awareness on Covid-19 and offer guidance on what to do once a person tests positive, says Hannah Yeoh.

The Segambut MP said the platform could be used to teach family members or parents on measures that could be taken if one of their family members tested positive.

"They can give guidelines on whether their children should be tested, how long they should be quarantined, whether they need to wear a (quarantine) bracelet, as well as how to perform online Covid-19 Assessment Centre (CAC) tests.

"All these are not shared by the NSC SMS platform. I think it can be used more effectively," she told a press conference in Parliament on Wednesday (July 28).

"Now, the SMSes are more like the 'good morning' messages you receive from your relatives that we just delete. It is now like this.

"My suggestion is we need to educate the rakyat how to pick up symptoms of the new Covid-19 variants," said the former deputy minister for women, family and community development.

"They have the guidelines on Telegram and Facebook, but not everyone has or knows how to download the applications.

"If we want to use the SMS as the most basic platform, we can include that the symptoms are no longer just fever. If you have such symptoms, please contact the nearest health clinics," she said, while also urging relevant authorities to update all the standard operating procedures related to Covid-19.

"When Covid-19 first struck the country, we were told to check our temperatures.

"All shops, including the smaller ones, have the equipment to measure body temperature at the entry points," said Yeoh, who added that most positive cases now are asymptomatic.

"Even if we enter Parliament, we have to measure our temperature, but many positive cases have no symptoms.

"This gives a false sense of security. The rakyat will think that if they do not have a fever, they are safe, but that is not the case now," said Yeoh, who also urged the relevant authorities to update SOP on indoor ventilation, especially at work places.

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