KUALA LUMPUR, June 3 — Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today that politicians around the world should either take advice from professionals or let them run the campaign themselves against the Covid-19 pandemic.
Dr Mahathir also lauded Putrajaya for letting the Ministry of Health professionals to do so here, and implementing such measures such as lockdown, social distancing and sanitising the public area unlike other countries like the United States and Brazil.
“I am glad to see that this government has allowed professionals to run the campaign against the virus.
“Had it been a politician we could be in grave trouble. We see what happens when politicians like Trump make decisions or Bolsonaro of Brazil, thousands of people will die,” he said in a session with CCC Live Talk organised by Creative Cloud Community Malaysia.
He was referring to American president Donald Trump and his Brazil counterpart Jair Bolsonaro.
Dr Mahathir, who was a medical doctor before he entered politics, said the people should remain aware of the coronavirus until a reliable vaccine could be rolled out to the public.
He said his initial estimate is about 18 months for the vaccine to be available as it should pass all the standard tests and be declared safe for humans.
“My estimate at first is about 18 months for us to do the testing. Because you have to test and see over a period of time
“That will take time and we have to study the people who have been given the vaccine, whether they are protected, or the vaccine last for a short period, or the virus disappears.
“You have to consider all these things,” he added.
Dr Mahathir also said any decision made for businesses to be open must be in regards to health experts’ understanding of the coronavirus and its effect on the public as well.
“The first thing to do is to understand this disease infection through environs. Then you will know what you can and what you cannot do.
“I have been trained as a doctor, so I must know the disease first before I could find ways to treat it.
“But for now, our understanding of the virus is not full yet,” he said.
Today, Malaysia recorded 93 new Covid-19 cases, bringing the total number of infections to 7,970 cases.
The country saw no Covid-19 deaths for the 12th consecutive day, keeping the death toll at 115.