PETALING JAYA: Selangor should emulate Kuala Lumpur by only locking down building by building instead of imposing a statewide movement restriction, the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (Miti) was told today.

This action have now yielded great and fast results with the lockdowns being progressively lifted for many such buildings, six trade associations said in an open letter. They want Selangor to adopt this targeted approach and abandon the sledgehammer method.

The letter was signed by Malaysia Shopping Malls Association (PPK), Malaysia Retailers Association (MRA), Malaysia Retail Chain Association (MRCA), Bumiputra Retailers Organisation (BRO), Malaysia REIT Managers Association (MRMA) and Malaysian Association of Theme Park and Family Attractions (MATFA).

“We fully support actions that are based on science and data analytics which in this case, show that most of Covid-19 cases are sporadic and spread from the community and not from work places,” they said.

“The apparently high incidence of infection in Selangor is compounded by the mass testing that is being conducted which naturally reveals more cases when compared to states that are not testing as extensively. Thus, the results have to be modulated statistically for a proper ‘apple-to-apple’ objective comparison.”

They said there is a need to balance between lives and livelihood. Restrictions like lockdowns should be applied judiciously and accurately on the identified hotspots otherwise unnecessary injury and harm is inflicted on the people and businesses that have not been directly responsible for the spread of the pandemic especially those that are law-abiding and have diligently adhered to the standard operating procedures (SOP) and practised self-discipline in restricting movements, they added.

“The World Health Organisation (WHO) has indeed taken the position that lockdowns cause tremendous harm to livelihoods and the economy and is only a temporary relief, if any. The ultimate solution is mass vaccination to reach herd immunity,” the letter said.

“Selangor is currently way behind in the vaccination programme and now with the promised 18 million doses expected in July, Selangor government must firmly demand that the proportionate amount of vaccine be allocated to Selangor based on the state’s population and that whatever is allocated be expeditiously administered within the same month.

“To alleviate further pain and suffering to the citizens of Selangor, we appeal for the immediate abandonment of the district/state-wide lockdown and to judiciously and surgically apply targeted EMCO on identified hotspots at building by building level.”