JOHOR BARU: Malaysians who are frequent travellers to Singapore are taking extra precautions to avoid contracting monkeypox after the island republic reported several cases recently.
While many are not too worried about the situation, they said they would not take it lightly and would seriously adhere to recommendations from the Health Ministries of both countries.
Housewife Hanim Sotian, 46, who travels between Johor Baru and Singapore by bus daily, said she keeps her mask on at all times when she is outdoors despite the relaxation of the mandatory face mask ruling in both countries.
“I think we must still be extra careful and responsible to those around us. We know through our experience with Covid-19 that diseases can spread quickly and we cannot afford to take things too lightly.
“I maintain a physical distance from others around me and always keep my face mask on. I am also monitoring my husband’s health closely, along with mine,” she said, adding she is also worried that the border would close again with the emergence of such diseases and an expected new wave of Covid-19 coming.
“I am more worried about the border closing as that would significantly affect my family’s livelihood. I had to live apart from my husband for almost two years because of it,” Hanim added.
Senior executive A. Alex, 35, who works in Singapore, said that he is closely adhering to the Covid-19 standard operating procedures to protect himself and others.
“I think we have all been used to living in the pandemic and have gotten used to maintaining good hygiene, wearing face masks and maintaining physical distancing.
“I believe the preventive measure we have all been taking for Covid-19 is sufficient to protect us from monkeypox, which is said not to spread as quickly as Covid-19.
“For now, I will stick to these preventive measures while also being in the loop for updates for the diseases,” he said.
Meanwhile, Wolni Jungin, 38, whose husband, brother and sister work in Singapore, said she is starting to get a little worried about the situation.
“I was worried when Singapore reported its first local case involving a Malaysian. I have told my family members working there to be vigilant.
“My concern is for my three children and three nephews, who are all living under my care,” said the housewife.
As of Friday, four cases have been reported in Singapore; three imported cases and one local infection.
The first monkeypox case was an imported one involving a 42-year-old British national who works as a flight attendant. He tested positive on June 20. The first local infection in Singapore involved a 45-year-old Malaysian man who resides in the island republic. He tested positive on July 6.