Total lockdown – Let this be the last

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Total lockdown - Let this be the last

Total lockdown – Let this be the last

PETALING JAYA: Health sector workers can finally breathe. The total nationwide lockdown announced by the Prime Minister’s Office has come at the right time.

With the record numbers of cases seen over the past weeks culminating in the 8,290 infections today. The health workers had been faced with a crisis that had seemed endless.

Speaking to FMT, Galen Centre for Health and Social Policy chief executive Azrul Mohd Khalib said “The lockdown would certainly bring down the number of cases”.

“It would not be able to drastically reduce infections.” he added

“The reductions will likely be unsustainable and will not result in reductions to below 4,000 cases in a seven-day average.”

The nationwide lockdown, similar to the first MCO, will come into effect from June 1 to June 14. However, with further stages of lockdowns, it will be July 16 – at best – before Malaysia can reach conditional MCO status again.

Essential Economic and Services sectors are allowed

Under the total lockdown, only the essential economic and services sectors are allowed to operate.

If Covid-19 cases could be reduced in the first two weeks, the government will implement a second phase of the lockdown with the reopening of several economic sectors that do not involve mass gatherings and where physical distancing is possible. This will be for a month.

Azrul lauded the staggered approach, saying it would provide flexibility for the government to decide the next course of action.

However, he noted that the optimum period for a lockdown would be at least eight weeks long.

Association of Private Hospitals Malaysia (APHM) president Kuljit Singh said the total lockdown was a wise decision as the country’s health facilities could no longer cater to new cases if the situation prolonged.

“The government has tried to contain the spread without affecting the economy, such as the implementation of EMCO but that obviously failed.”

Asked if the sudden announcement would cause another round of panic buying, he said it would be unlikely.

“This is not our first lockdown. This time, we know how to prepare ahead of the lockdown without risking our health,” he said, adding that there would be sufficient and continuous supply of essential items to last the country throughout the lockdown period.

Lockdown might cause more suicides.

However, Azrul cautioned that the lockdown might cause more suicides.

“We may not see as much panic buying as we did in the first lockdown but we will see an increase in the number of suicides.

“This decision will be seen as the final straw for many individuals and households, especially when there is no indication of a strong assistance scheme or social safety net. The panic that we will instead see, could be a different one.”

Kuljit advised the public to look at the situation positively, saying the situation would improve gradually as more Covid-19 vaccines supply arrive by July.

“We just have to endure this period until the vaccine supply arrives,” he added.


Total lockdown – Let this be the last

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