COUNTRIES which have been badly affected by the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome are carrying out thorough cleaning-up of places suspected of carrying the SARS virus, such as market areas and eateries.
So far the number of SARS deaths in our country is low but this does not mean we are in the clear as we are still unsure about the source.
This is an opportune time for us to really clean our backyards of rubbish and dumps, and to send a clear message that everyone has to play a role to keep our environment clean.
We should not wait for a declaration of an epidemic before taking action to check the spread of diseases. It will be too late then.
I feel all the local authorities should step up their efforts to clean up the environment.
One such authority is the Municipal Council of Petaling Jaya.
I do not stay in Section 17, Petaling Jaya. But I pass the place daily, and see heaps and heaps of stinking garbage at two market places, one along Jalan 17/21 and the other the open market in the shopping business area.
It looks as if the garbage is not cleared daily.
Are we going to react and start cleaning up the place only when Section 17 is declared a SARS-infected area?
The garbage in these areas needs to be cleared more than once a day.
Is it too much to ask to have more frequent clearing of the rubbish everyday?
Another measure we should adopt is to compel all those who suffer from cold and cough to wear face masks as is practised by the Japanese.
If all of us practise this, the air around us will be much cleaner.
It will take years to develop this clean habit, but if we do not make a start, it will never happen.
PUBLIC HEALTH CONSCIOUS, Petaling Jaya. (via e-mail)
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