KUALA LUMPUR, March 19 — A good samaritan has started a ‘caremongering’ group on social media site, Facebook, to help the vulnerable groups of people following a nationwide Movement Control Order in Malaysia from March 18 to 31 to combat COVID-19.
An expatriate from Scotland, Joseph Mathers, 29, started the group “Caremongering Malaysia – A Community Response to COVID-19 and called upon young people to help out by checking on their neighbors, especially the elderlies, shopping for their groceries as well as getting their medicines from pharmacies during this difficult time.
“Scaremongering is a big problem. We want to switch this around and get people to connect at a positive level,” he told Bernama when contacted here, today.
The number of COVID-19 cases in Malaysia has risen to 790 as of Wednesday, with 60 having since recovered and two deaths recorded.
“I wanted to help people like my own grandma who don’t have anyone around to support them. I know how difficult it must be for older people at the best of times and now they can’t leave the house,” he said.
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Joseph, who has been in Malaysia for the past two years, said he was surprised on how fast Malaysians have joined the group from all over the country.
“People just joined the group so quickly,” he said, adding that it now has over 500 members.
Besides caring for elderly persons, some have come forward to help students as well.
One of the group members, Nadiah Ghazali has offered to help in Bangi and its surrounding areas.
“I know there are a lot of students in this area, so if you are displaced during the restriction because your university forces you to leave, I can help with food as well as finding a place to stay.
“In addition to the grocery runs and pet-feeding of course,” she offered.
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Meanwhile, Joelin Lim offered to help in Miri, Sarawak, but strictly for elderly and vulnerable people that include single mothers and persons with disabilities.
“Cashless transfers as much as possible. Leave at your doorstep, no physical contact,” she wrote.
Joseph, who is overwhelmed by the support he got from Malaysia, is hopeful that more such efforts would be taken in Malaysia and elsewhere.
“I hope someone does the same in Scotland. I can’t help her (grandma) now. But I hope someone does,” he said.
Scotland has recorded 195 COVID-19 cases, with two deaths.
In Canada, more than 35 ‘Caremongering’ Facebook groups with over 30,000 members were set-up in 72 hours to serve communities in places such as Ottawa and Halifax in an act of kindness amid the virus outbreak.