Malaysian Parliament is an essential workplace — Victor Hoe and Sanjay Rampal

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AUGUST 2 — The Malaysian Parliament is a very important workplace. The rakyat needs to hear the views of all parliamentarians in response to the various ongoing crises in Malaysia. 

The Covid-19 disease will be with us for the foreseeable future so Parliament and the parliamentarians need to set a good example of ensuring the continuation of work and business during this pandemic in a safe environment. 

Standard operating procedures (SOP) should be enforced to ensure the safe continuation of Parliament and its sittings. 

Parliament is a workplace environment, and everyone in it should follow workplace SOPs. 

Community linked cases will continue to occur. However, strict infection control and social measures are key to preventing Covid-19 transmission within Parliament. 

Preventive infection control measures include appropriate face mask use and physical distancing. Social gatherings should not be allowed. 

As a measure of special precaution, for now, drinks and meals should be consumed individually. Everyone within Parliament must always follow the SOPs to decrease the risk of transmission within the premises.

A general view of the Parliament lobby in Kuala Lumpur November 2, 2020. — Bernama pic
A general view of the Parliament lobby in Kuala Lumpur November 2, 2020. — Bernama pic

In line with national SOPs, various locations within Parliament should also use MySejahtera QR codes for easier close contacts identification. 

Alternatively, geo-tagging contact tracing systems may be used to ensure the safety of all parliamentarians. 

Anonymized location data may be collected for more efficient close contact identification. Smarter automatized contact tracing systems should help reduce the risk of Covid-19  transmission within Parliament.

There are many examples we can follow to ensure that Parliament stays open, even with the high number of Covid-19 cases in the community. 

Since the beginning of the pandemic, hospitals have never closed their doors as they follow strict standard operating procedures (SOPs). 

SOP adherence is vital for effective prevention and control of Covid-19 in the hospital. 

Many essential workplaces continue to function despite the raging pandemic. 

The Malaysian Parliament is an essential workplace and should therefore continue to function under very strict workplace SOPs.

* Prof Dr Victor Hoe and Prof Dr Sanjay Rampal are with Universiti Malaya.

** This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of Malay Mail.

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