APRIL 28 — On April 27, our minister of health made announcements on the relaxation of all SOPs, except indoor mask mandate.  The public’s response has been two-sided, with one side being very happy to finally be free of most of the restrictions, while the other side is sceptical about the relaxation.  In order to ensure that our country is moving towards the right direction, the responsibility lies with us, the people.

This responsibility is social responsibility, which refers to an individual’s obligation to take action and cooperate with others for the benefit of the society at large.  Everyone’s contribution is important and required to achieve the end results, which is to co-exist with the SARS-CoV. Social responsibility in the reporting of being Covid-19 positive in MySejahtera is important.  But it is difficult for the government to implement enforcement if one does not report his/her positive status.   If an individual tested positive and choose not to report in MySejahtera, they will not be issued Home Surveillance Order (HSO).  This then depends on the individual’s social responsibility if he/she will stay isolated. If that individual chooses to leave the house or be out in the public, he / she will put the public at risk.  

People wearing protective face masks walk along the Jamek Mosque Pedestrian Bridge in Kuala Lumpur March 4, 2022. ― Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
People wearing protective face masks walk along the Jamek Mosque Pedestrian Bridge in Kuala Lumpur March 4, 2022. ― Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

For close contacts, they are not required to be quarantined and allowed to be out in the public if asymptomatic.  With the latest relaxation of SOPs, mask-wearing outdoors is not mandatory.  Although the Ministry of Health has recommended this group to continue wearing masks even outdoors, again this will depend on the individual’s social responsibility.  These close contacts may be positive but asymptomatic and if they do not wear masks outdoors, they may infect the public unintentionally especially when physical distancing is not possible.

With the relaxation of SOPs and if some of our people are being socially irresponsible, we may see a surge in cases as well as hospitalisation rates.  We should not think there is no need to follow the above measures when our number of cases, hospitalisation and death rates are low. Please be socially responsible to protect ourselves and our loved ones.  Being socially responsible is crucial for our country to move towards endemic status. 

* Dr Moy Foong Ming is a professor at Universiti Malaya’s Medicine Faculty.

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