Lockdown is not the best solution
Majority of the rakyat admitted that the previous restrictions have huge impacts on the economy
Public Health Medicine specialist, Assoc. Prof Dr Marzuki Isahak said, since the Covid-19 virus already spreads all around the world, the mitigation strategy which is the movement control order was not one of the best intervention solutions to the problem.
He said it is hard to implement the containment strategy as it requires a lot of energy and incurs a heavy cost.
“There are two stages of controlling the spread of the virus which are containment and mitigation.
“We have done the containment strategy by enforcing the movement control order to ensure every close contact is in quarantine.
“However, after two years of facing the deadly virus, the government should have mobilized towards the mitigation approach because we are no longer able to combat it as it has spread all over the world.
“Therefore, I strongly agree when the government conducted the mitigation strategy because even if there are cases, the government should not implement a movement control order as it will only give huge impacts on the rakyat and the economy,” he said when contacted by Sinar Harian on Monday (Jan 10).
Marzuki, who is also the Honorary Secretary of the Academy of Occupational and Environmental Medicine explained, the mitigation approach that was conducted does not mean the government has failed to control the spread.
This is because such approaches are used internationally to control the infections and reduce the impacts due to the infection of the virus.
He also said that the country has transitioned into the endemic phase and is now at the mitigation phase compared to the containment phase as implemented in China.
“What we need to ensure is the capability of the hospital to accept severe Covid-19 cases.
“But to control the Covid-19, it is not solely up to the government as they come up with a policy to be followed by every party.
“As of now, we have moved towards the mitigation phase and perhaps, we will move towards the endemic phase. When we enter the endemic phase, we no longer need to impose the movement control order as it will only give huge impacts on the rakyat and the economy of the country.,” he said.
Health Minister, Khairy Jamaluddin, on Sunday (Jan9) said, Malaysia is not capable in the aspect of the economy and the welfare of the rakyat if the movement control order is implemented to curb the spread of Covid-19.
On the contrary, he said, the strategy of the government to stop the spread of the virus is through implementing a mitigation strategy.
He also said that it is undeniable that the approach of China in imposing the movement restriction order is effective, but the containment strategy or ''zero covid' means enforcing full movement restriction even with just three positive cases.
Meanwhile, a graduate, Nadhirah Zainal, 20, also opined that enforcing the movement restriction order is not fitting with the current situation as it will severely impact the rakyat, especially on the economy.
“It is true that the movement restriction can help reduce the case, but how much longer do we have to live like this? It has been two years of living in the Covid-19 pandemic, I do not think the rakyat is able to bear the burden much longer.
“As of now, it would be better if we enhance the enforcement of the standard operating procedures (SOP) and make sure the public adhere to it,” he said.
Moreover, a lecturer, Dr Mohd Shukri Baba, 50 also opined that the implementation of the movement restriction order is not a wise decision as it can affect the economy and the welfare of the rakyat.
He said, many of the rakyat are affected as they are losing their jobs due to the enforcement and if it continues, it might cause a crisis in the future.
Meanwhile, an Economy major student from Universiti Malaya, Muhammad Salman Hakim Mahayiddin, 22, said, the current mitigation strategy is better compared to the previous one.
The implementation of the movement restriction will only cause greater damage, especially to the economy as the rakyat will be severely affected during the global pandemic.