KUALA LUMPUR: Medical experts have expressed concern that the actions of some parties in organising and participating in rallies or demonstrations when the country is struggling to cope with the Covid-19 pandemic will worsen the situation in the country.
Malaysian Public Health Physicians’ Association president, Datuk Dr Zainal Ariffin Omar said this was especially so when the Klang Valley is a hotspot for the spread of new Covid-19 cases.
“In demonstration situations, it is very difficult for them (participants) to practice physical distancing and wear face masks at all times, and there is also the possibility that they will share drink containers and others.
“So with new Covid-19 variants such as Delta, which is easily contagious, and a mass gathering somewhere...then there can be the possibility of new transmissions,“ he told Bernama today.
Dr Zainal Ariffin was commenting on a demonstration held by a group of young people from the Sekretariat Solidariti Rakyat at Dataran Merdeka, here, today, apparently to demand the resignation of Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin who is said to have failed to address the country’s Covid-19 pandemic.
Elaborating, Dr Zainal Ariffin said based on statistics as of Wednesday (July 28), a total of 199 Delta variant cases had been reported in the country, with Sarawak recording 93 cases, Selangor and Pahang (18 each), Labuan (14), Kuala Lumpur and Johor respectively (11).
“Taking into account this factor, I think it is very logical for the authorities not to allow any mass gatherings.
“Any party involved should still be able to voice their opinions through other platforms that are more appropriate, including through the use of social media,“ he added.
Meanwhile, Johor Malaysian Medical Association vice-chairman Dr Ng Kim Fong said he would not be surprised if new Covid-19 cases exceeded the Health Ministry’s initial forecast of 24,000 cases a day in September.
“Certainly the number will be higher again and this will make for a longer lockdown period for Malaysians.
“Therefore, for whatever reason, the people must look at the health angle in their every action. Help health workers and doctors to control the Covid-19 situation because most of the beds in the Klang Valley hospitals are now full, indicating that the situation is getting worse,” said Ng, who is currently temporarily assigned to the Serdang Hospital.
Meanwhile, on the Facebook page, Keilmuan Negara chairman, Zambri Mohd Isa, who was a Covid-19 category five patient at Serdang Hospital, condemned the actions of those who participated in the demonstration.
“I see the #lawan rally held today as an unwise action because it can trigger a large Covid-19 cluster.
“For me, to change the leadership of the country today, let us leave it to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah and the members of Parliament according to the Federal Constitution,“ he said. — Bernama