Face mask much sought-after in Asean but soon a ditched commodity

  • AseanPlus News
  • Sunday, 10 May 2020

KUALA LUMPUR: If face mask and personal protective equipment (PPE) were traded as commodities, their future prices in this side of the world would have skyrocketed as the world is expected to deal with the Covid-19 (coronavirus) pandemic at least up to 2021.

The other item that is selling fast are hand sanitisers.

It came to a point where some countries are trying to take short cuts in obtaining those items that are meant for aids to other countries.

It is a complete reverse from just two months ago where gold and crude oil were considered as safe - haven investments, especially when a economic crisis like situation looms.

The world saw the US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures become negative for the first time in decades, while Brent crude oil maintained its position at below US$30 per barrel.

All these were due to declining demand globally especially in transportation.

One health crisis and the world turned topsy-turvy.

It also goes to show how mankind for the longest time took everything for granted from cleanliness to humanity.

Besides, posting pictures on social media of clean air, healing environment and happy animals taking over their rightful place.

Have we learned?

Hospitals and quarantine centres have their specific and dedicated ways of disposing of items considered as bio-hazard.

Among the companies that have secured tenders under such circumstances are Radicare (M) Sdn Bhd, which was appointed by the Ministry of Health (MoH) to conduct management of healthcare waste, linen and laundry services and also cleaning services at the Higher Education Leadership Academy in Nilai, Negeri Sembilan.

"Radicare is responsible to provide sufficient clean linen to Patients Under Surveillance and healthcare workers, collect dirty linen, supply consumables and receptacles for healthcare facility waste, manage clinical waste, carry out terminal cleaning works, disinfectant spray works and other related services,” it said on its website.

But protective items such a disposable face masks and hand sanitiser containers used by the general public is seen being ditched anywhere and everywhere.

Landasan Lumayan Sdn Bhd's unit, Selangor Maritime Gateway (SMG), which has been conducting clean-up operations for the Klang River, has found face masks, gloves and sanitiser bottles in the river, it was reported recently.

According to the report, Landasan Lumayan managing director, Syaiful Azmen Nordin, had said that although SMG has seen a reduction in the volume of waste being extracted from the river, it had been alerted by the presence of these new types of waste.

It is common sense that these items need to be disposed of in a hygienic manner, if not it could be hazardous for those who work in the line of cleaning them.

Worse still, if it turns into another form of health crisis.

Although the movement control order has been relaxed and people are starting to head back to work, the battle is far from over.

The MoH has time after time reminded Malaysians of the new norms including using face mask and conduct social distancing at all times.

The possibility of winning this fight lies mainly with the general public, while the doctors and nurses are tirelessly work around the clock to contain the spread of the deadly disease.

Self-ignorance at this point can cost you, your life and endanger others. - Bernama
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