KUALA LUMPUR, March 16 — Adding to the chorus of calls for more preventive action to be taken by the government to battle the Covid-19 outbreak, Pakatan Harapan (PH) today also urged the National Security Council (NSC) to meet and discuss ways to mitigate the situation.
The Opposition coalition noted that the NSC, comprising the prime minister, the chief secretary to the government, the armed forces chief and the inspector-general of police, now has an important role to play and should meet more often to strengthen preventive efforts between the government and private sector.
PH, in a statement issued today, said the Covid-19 pandemic could be deemed as a matter of national security, where a holistic approach is required to overcome the outbreak.
“The leadership of the NSC is needed to overcome the Covid-19 problem by giving focus to the preparation levels of the healthcare system, standard operating procedures on protecting and the safety of the public, communications and public awareness, and the country’s economic resilience,” read a statement issued by the coalition today.
This comes in light of a spike in new Covid-19 cases yesterday, most of which were linked to a religious event that took place between February 28 and March 1 at a mosque in Sri Petaling, spiking the local tally to a whopping 438 cases.
This figure represents the biggest single-day jump in Covid-19 cases in Malaysia to date. It also makes Malaysia the worst affected country in South-east Asia.
PH today also suggested the government, besides beefing up the healthcare system and its facilities, also conduct additional training sessions for health officers, enforce strict procedures on ‘social distancing’, and cancel public meetings.
The coalition, now made up of PKR, DAP, and Parti Amanah Negara, stressed that the main focus should be at decreasing the number of new cases, while advising the public to maintain a distance of at least one metre from others and reminding again the public to avoid mass gatherings of any sort.
“Religious activities at houses of worships, sporting events, public assemblies, and even those in government must stop for the now to avoid an even bigger spread of the Covid-19 infection in this second wave,” read the statement.
PH also advised the public to maintain good hygiene habits, to take care of their health, and always ensure they share and take on board only verified information from the Health Ministry or its related agencies.