Let’s not forget that Covid-19 numbers are still being recorded by the thousands.
Since the government’s recent announcement of relaxed SOPs for those who are fully vaccinated, many organisations and members of the public have come forward to express their concern.
All decisions should be made based on science
The Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) recently released a statement urging the government to delay the relaxation of SOPs for those who are fully vaccinated until the rate of Covid-19 infection shows significant signs of slowing down. They added that any decision to relax restrictions should be supported with enough scientific evidence.
“If the decision was really made based on science, why is inter-state travel allowed for those who want to see their spouses and children?” asked MMA President, Professor Datuk Dr Subramainiam Muniandy, as reported by Astro Awani.
He explained that the situation has to either be safe enough for everyone who’s fully vaccinated to travel, hence allowing every individual who has undergone the vaccination process to be entitled to travelling privileges or the situation is not fully safe and no one should be allowed to travel.
Dr Subramainiam added that states, where fully vaccinated individuals are allowed to partake in relaxed SOPs, should be added based on science. “Some of those states in Phase 2 are showing an increasing trend in cases of Covid-19. By next week, they may be in Phase 1.”
Focus more on bed utilisation & ICU situation
He elaborated that the government needs to stop focusing so much attention on the total number of cases.
“What is important are hospital bed utilisation and the ICU situation in the country. We will not get to zero on Covid-19 cases any time soon.”
But he also expressed how severe cases may gradually decline as more people get vaccinated. “However, with the increasing rate of vaccinations, serious cases may soon be trending down by month-end.”
Consider all high-risk groups
As for steps that should be taken moving forward, the MMA President expressed his hopes that the government will provide updates on the positivity rate and the status of bed utilisation and ICU’s in each state as greater indicators aside from daily Covid-19 cases.
“We also hope there will be an update on the vaccination status of all those in the high-risk category under Phase 2 of the National Immunisation Programme (NIP). Any lifting of restrictions must also take into account high-risk groups such as nursing homes, factory and construction workers, security guards, cleaners, medical students and undocumented migrant workers that have not been vaccinated.”
During the weekend, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin announced a list of relaxed restrictions that would be made available for individuals who completed two doses of their Covid-19 vaccine. Among the leniencies these individuals are entitled to include dining in at restaurants, inter-state/inter-district travelling to visit long-distance spouses and children and relaxed regulations for those returning from abroad to home quarantine.
However, individuals who have access to these leniencies are required to prepare the necessary documents for verification. If you’re fully vaccinated and are in a state that allows the lifting of these restrictions, do stay safe and only leave your house if absolutely necessary.
Do remember that being fully vaccinated doesn’t mean you won’t catch the virus. Take the necessary precautions to keep you and your loved ones safe.
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