A general lockdown with stricter bans should be implemented for at least three months to reduce the number of Covid-19 infections in the country.
Medical experts believe this, combined with an aggressive search, testing, tracking, isolation and support (FTTIS) system and the National Covid-19 Immunization Program (NIP), will see the country with two-digit numbers. case in September and return to normal early next year.
Epidemiologist Professor Datuk Dr Awang Bulgiba Awang Mahmud warned that the overall lockdown from June 1 to 14 as announced by the government on Friday would not achieve the desired results.
With the number of daily new infections exceeding the 9,000 mark and the presence of a newer and more virulent Covid-19 variety in the community, he said Malaysia needed at least two to three. months of “total lockdown” to prevent the spread.
He said that even if the two -week lockdown is strictly enforced, it will still take eight to 12 weeks to lower the numbers to a manageable level.
“More recent varieties can have an infectious period of more than two weeks, possibly up to 21 days. If we have a total lockdown of two to three months, infections are bound only to family members.There is no point in pussyfooting around, with a half -cooked lockdown.
“If we don’t keep track of the hard lessons we’ve been taught over the past year and a half, we’re going to review any time we buy into this lockdown, wasting all the sacrifices our frontliners have made and ending our ourselves to repeat the very same mistakes we made.
“There is no room for poor governance that is not stable and there is no place for arrogance in this pandemic war,” he said in New Sunday Times.
The chairman of the Covid-19 Epidemiological Analysis and Strategies Task Force chairman of the Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry said only Category 3 infections or worse should be treated in hospitals, while Category 1 or 2 patients should to be isolated or quarantined at home and guarded at a distance.
Dr Awang Bulgiba also called on the government to watch out for infections among workers, institute syndromic surveillance and better real-time data analysis, start more genomic surveillance, start scenario planning. and revising the Pandemic Preparedness Plan with a clear direction and approach.
“Public health experts outside the Health Ministry should be given access to the data and allowed to conduct their own analysis.
“Duplicate standards should not be allowed in SOP enforcement because it will lead to people losing trust and less compliance.”
He said the NIP should be accelerated with 300,000 to 500,000 people vaccinated every day to get rid of the herd by the end of the year.
“We need to vaccinate a few million million more people. To say we need two doses per person, that’s 50 million doses. The rate of 300,000 doses per day means we need 167 that subsequent days of vaccination to get it, which will practically take us to the end. of the year. “
He added that the government should provide support to the vulnerable during this lockdown.
“After a year, the lengthy preparation efforts in these areas are frankly pathetic because there is no realization of the true magnitude of the problem.”
The head of the Malaysian Public Health Physicians Association Datuk Dr Zainal Ariffin Omar said the general lockdown should be enforced by the end of next month, followed by a three-month strict Movement Control Order.
He reported that the two -week total lockdown was a “minimum” period to combat the rapid outbreak.
“We’ve reached the one -way track, where the only effective circuit breaker is to reduce the number of cases with total lockdown. It’s a do or die situation.
“Along with this, the authorities need to strengthen FTTIS and expedite the NIP to see double figures in September.
“There should also be less negative political interference or manipulation because it is a health crisis, and decision makers in the National Security Council, Health Ministry and Special Committee on Covid-19 Vaccine Supply Access Guarantee should make those decision based on scientific data.
“We no longer have to repeat past mistakes, where the authorities have seen to ease the bans as quickly as possible by allowing events, gatherings and people to return to their usual work.
“The government needs to have a good and effective plan with the aim of getting back to normal by the end of the year or early in 2022. To date, we have not seen such a plan.”
Dr Zainal warned that the cases are yet to be resolved as the Hari Raya Aidilfitri clusters are just starting to show up.
Epidemiologist and biostatistician from Universiti Putra Malaysia Associate Professor Dr Malina Osman said at least three months of strict controls are needed to reduce the number of cases in one or double digits to save the healthcare system and prevent the many deaths.
“We need at least two weeks of full lockdown. It needs to be reviewed every now and then, where the assessment of the situation needs to take into account those in hospitals and intensive care units, number of deaths, number of those who are fully vaccinated and R is worthless. “
Dr Malina said a small change in policy by prioritizing those in the economic sector to be vaccinated first could help to reduce possible clusters in workplaces.
Community and work in medicine at Manipal University College Malaysia Professor Dr G. Jayakumar said a study published in European Journal of Medical Research, which looked at 27 countries after a 15-day lockdown last year, showed that their daily cases in SARS-CoV-2 patients had decreased significantly.
“The study found that lockdown rules should follow physical detachment and mask wearing, because a lockdown alone is not effective if people are not obedient.
“However, these measures could have a detrimental effect on individuals, communities and organizations by bringing social and economic life to a close.”
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