KUALA LUMPUR, April 22 — After living more than a month under the Movement Control Order (MCO), which has helped curb the spread of COVID-19 in the country, the public have been reminded to brace for the ‘new norm’ when the order is lifted.
Prof Datuk Dr Adeeba Kamarulzaman, Dean of Faculty of Medicine at the University of Malaya, said even after the MCO, everyone has to bear in mind that the virus has not fully gone away and should always take precautionary measures.
“I would like to remind everyone that life is not going to be back to normal…This (COVID-19) is a highly infectious virus that 98 per cent of the population has no immunity against.
“And if we go back to having mass gatherings, not observing personal hygiene and lack of social distancing, we are going to go back to square one,” she said.
She said this during the Research for Social Advancement (REFSA) webinar titled COVID-19: Crisis Preparedness and the Whole-of-Society Response via Zoom Cloud Meetings application today.
Apart from the MCO, Dr Adeeba said the country was able to manage the pandemic better by understanding the mode of transmission and natural history of the disease, considering all those lessons learnt from what the virus has done over the last three to four months.
On community isolation, she cited Singapore as a good example, whereby those infected cases who were well and did not develop complications were being managed in the community rather than admitting everyone of them to hospital.
“They (Singapore) have seen hundreds of cases every day but luckily many of those cases are fit, healthy, and young foreign workers.
“Hopefully our MCO will end the COVID-19 threat, but if we do get big clusters again then we’ll be prepared in terms of having centres for the well (mild symptom) patients, and reserve the hospitals for those who are at risk of getting serious complications,” she added.
Other speakers involved in the webinar, moderated by REFSA research director Ivy Kwek, were the International Director and Co-Founder of Geutanyoë Foundation, Lilianne Fan, and Malaysian Armed Forces Health Service Division director-general Lt Gen Datuk Pahlawan Dr Md Amin Muslan.