Lab work caught in limbo again

MALAYSIA has been doing a great job battling the Covid-19 pandemic and we managed to flatten the daily infection curve and reduce the number of community transmission by June/July 2020.

I truly appreciate the hard work done by our frontliners, and also the director-general of Health Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah for protecting us from this deadly pandemic.

Unfortunately, because of some irresponsible adults who like to “ke sana ke sini” and refuse to quarantine themselves after returning from high-risk red zone areas, the number of Covid-19 cases in the country began to spike to three digits from the end of September, resulting in the Federal Government implementing the conditional movement control order (MCO) in certain regions in the country, including Sabah, Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya.

As a citizen who loves the country, I welcome this move by the government to stop the transmission chain and flatten the infection curve again.

However, I feel very sad for my children and their friends who are now doing their postgraduate research at higher education institutions because, again, they have to stop conducting experiments on campus due to the conditional MCO.

My children are conducting some biological experiments on cells and animals that need to be fed continuously while their friends are doing agricultural observations on crops and plants daily.

With the implementation of the conditional MCO, these young scientists have to stop their experiments, and we really feel sad for them and their lecturers as well.

The government had announced at the end of May that all postgraduate students would be allowed to resume their laboratory work on June 1. Since then, no cluster related to postgraduate students has been reported.

The postgraduate students need to enter labs to resume their work. They have personal commitments, need to pay tuition and experiment fees, and answer to their supervisor and grant provider if they fail to report the key results on time.

Therefore, I sincerely hope the government can help them by allowing them to return to their laboratory to resume their work.

Their number is very small, perhaps just two or three persons in a laboratory. They are mature adults who know how to adhere to the Covid-19 SOP to reduce the risk of infection.


Shah Alam

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