Reconsider 10km movement restriction, says health coalition

02 Apr 2020 / 15:04 H.

PETALING JAYA: The government must reconsider the 10km movement restriction that came into force under the second phase of the Movement Control Order (MCO), says the Malaysia Health Coalition.

It said there must be exemptions for those seeking specialty healthcare as many patients have no choice but to travel long distances to receive treatment for their medical problems.

“People travel up to 83km to receive cancer radiotherapy and an even longer distance in Sabah and Sarawak, 228km.

“Institut Jantung Negara hosts patients from all over the country and many travel long distances to receive dialysis,” it said in a statement yesterday, adding that routine and necessary non Covid-19 healthcare cannot be compromised.

The coalition said any disinfection carried out at public places must follow Health Ministry guidelines, instead of uncoordinated decisions not based on any evidence.

It said the government aims to reduce the risk of transmission of Covid-19 but it must at the same time ensure that the poorest and neediest will not suffer.

“The government should introduce an interim protocol that balances public safety with effective delivery of NGOs services to cover all gaps,“ the coalition which represents 41 societies and 16 individuals said.

It said religious authorities, the Health Ministry and local authorities must decide together about the organisation of Ramadan bazaars and a unilateral decision should not be made.

It said the government has difficult choices to make during this time of crisis but it must fully utilise the health expertise it has at hand.

The coalition also welcomed the appointment of Tan Sri Dr Jemilah Mahmood as the special adviser to the Prime Minister for public health.

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