IPOH: Many people are of the opinion that interstate travel should be allowed soon since the country is heading towards an endemic phase now.
Ipoh City Watch president Richard Ng said many families and married couples have been suffering in silence due to the prolonged lockdowns.
Ng said with statistics from the Health Ministry showing the number of new Covid-19 cases having dipped below 15,000, as well as the recovery rate surpassing the number of new cases consistently, it is time to open the borders.
“In addition, the Covid-19 infectivity rate in Malaysia is at 0.94, except for a few states.
“The economy needs to be revived or more people will suffer from poor mental health,” he said, adding that some businesses would be closing down for good if the movement restriction is not lifted.
Ng said most people are aware about the need for self-discipline and adhering to the standard operating procedure (SOP).
He cited an example that some are still not eating out due to safety concerns despite dine-in is now allowed.
“As long as the people know how to stay safe and adhere to the SOP, interstate travel should not be an issue,” he said.
Digital analyst R. Charroogesinee, 25, said interstate travel is a basic necessity for most.
She said family members have been separated over the past one year although getting together is just a few hours of drive away.
“Elderly parents, students and working adults are suffering in silence with separation anxiety and this has adversely affected their mental health.
“Special consideration should be given for such individuals,” she added.
Accountant R. Deviyah Daranee, 29, said with most shops, services and centres restarting operations, and Langkawi welcoming travellers, it is time to have a controlled system to allow children over 18 and parents, residing in different states, to visit each other.
She said just like how spousal bonding is important, family bonding too is crucial.
“Single children who live in different states are unable to see their family members for the past year, and have high tendencies to face mental health issues.
“Such instances should be taken into consideration by the government,” she said.
Production supervisor Sundeep Kaur Cheema, 45, said for a start, the authorities should allow children to visit their aged parents for a number of days.
She said the government could give a three-day limit over the weekends for such visits.
“The elderly staying alone in other states have not met their children for almost a year now,” she said.
Seema Yadav, 40, said many people are working outside of their states, so it is important for them to get in touch with their families to avoid social blackout.
“Interstate travel should be allowed again based on the geographical set up of the country,” she said.