The government needs to revisit the standard operating procedures (SOP) in place, ensuring continued adaptation to the new normal to minimise the spread of Covid-19 in the community.
“We are not adapting to the new environment, but the virus is adapting to us faster and infecting us faster,” Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said.
He called for the authorities to review the SOP and action plan in curbing Covid-19, especially those involving social gatherings.
He also made a call for working from home to be reimplemented.
“We need to strike the right balance between health and economy and health and social. It is very challenging to strike the right balance because health is important, but economy is equally important.”
If cases continue to increase, he said the economy will have to compromise in terms of the activities allowed to remain open.
“The economic sector is a huge sector. We have to look into gatherings for example and the Hotspots Identification for Dynamic Engagement (HIDE) system that we have developed lists retail outlets and restaurants as places of concern.
“Hence, while we may allow restaurants to remain open, dine-ins should not be allowed to limit the infection. In retail, we can allow only essential services like groceries, pharmacies, and clinics to operate.
“We also need to look back at implementing working from home and at all the new ways of doing things. We need to adapt to the new environment.
“These are some of the initiatives that we need to re-visit and identify how best we can curb the infection in this country.”
Dr Noor Hisham said while Malaysia has not failed in fighting the virus, the country has also not won the battle.
He said in order to win the fight against the virus, the government needs the cooperation from everyone, especially in adhering to the SOP at all times.
“It is still not too late. We are continuing to fight as with the last 16 months. We hope that we can curb the infection in the time to come.
“Compliance is key. Our concern is that success will breed complacency and complacency will breed failure.
“So, we hope that we are not complacent even in these difficult times.” – NST