Government should adopt a flexible and nimble policy and approach to deal with Covid-19 pandemic and not a “one size fits all” situation

The Covid-19 pandemic chalked up four dubious records in the world in the past 24 hours:

(i) Achieving a single-day increase global record for Covid-19 cases as it registered 300,474 new Covid-190 cases, the first time daily new infections have breached the 300,000-mark;

(ii) Global cumulative total of Covid-19 infections breached the 27 million mark and stands at present at 27,069,983 cases;

(iii) Russia joins United States, Brazil and India to be the fourth country in the world with a cumulative total of over a million cases, viz:

United States – 6,431,160 cases;

Brazil – 4,123,000 cases;

India – 4,114,773 cases;

Russia – 1,020,310 cases.

(iv) Global total deaths from Covid-19 reached 883,780 cases; and

(v) Mexico has the world’s most health worker deaths from pandemic – 1,320 in Mexico as against the global total of at least 7,000 health workers.

The Covid-19 pandemic is going to last quite some time as the World Health Organisation (WHO) warned yesterday that it did not expect widespread vaccinations against Covid-19 until the middle of next year, stressing the importance of rigorous checks on their effectiveness and safety.

For this reason, the government should adopt a flexible and nimble policy and approach to deal with Covid-19 pandemic and not a “one size fits all” situation

The American Malaysian Chamber of Commerce (Amcham) has urged the government to reconsider the blanket entry ban on foreign citizens from 12 countries, including the US, which will take effect on Sept 7 as the ban would affect amongst others, expatriates with valid work permits in Malaysia such as employment passes and professional visitor passes.

These categories would severely impact the immediate operations of some of the country’s largest investors.

The Amcham statement said: “In the electric and electronic sector, for example, a sector that contributes to the overall health of the country’s economy, this blanket ban denies companies access not only to senior executives but the critical technical talent that is needed to ensure Malaysian-based entities are able to meet global supply chain demands.”

The ban would result in the immediate loss of millions of dollars at both the business and trade levels.

As the DAP MP for Bangi and former Deputy Minister for International Trade and Industry, Ong Kian Meng suggested, instead of a blanket ban, Malaysia should strengthen its standard operating procedures (SOPs) on foreigners travelling from red zones into Malaysia and ensure that they go through a proper quarantine process – no repeat of Khairuddin breaches of SOP!

(Media Statement (3) by DAP MP for Iskandar Puteri Lim Kit Siang in Gelang Patah on Sunday, 6th September 2020)

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