Other Covid-19-related developments

Authorities and industry players are taking greater measures to ensure the public and frontliners’ safety


SEVEN days into the Movement Control Order (MCO), one can attest to the proliferation of the Covid-19 is far more severe than any deadly virus today.

With the country seeing the highest number of cases in a single day yesterday, authorities and industry players are taking greater measures to ensure the public and frontliners’ safety.

Here are among the developments that Malaysians should know.

Army to Assist, Not to Hurt

Although there are viral pictures of the army taking their tankers to the streets, no, the Malaysian Armed Forces are not permitted to use physical force to enforce the MCO. Instead, the deployment of military personnel is strictly to assist the police in monitoring the order. They are to make sure that people are not travelling in groups and that nobody crosses state and city borders without permission.

Gloves and Assistance for the Frontliners

Glove makers Supermax Corp Bhd and Kossan Rubber Industries Bhd will be donating three million medical gloves to Malaysian authorities who are in the front line in the fight against the pandemic.

Kossan will be donating two million Shirudo Confidenz and Shirudo Seventh Sense nitrile gloves, while Supermax has donated one million pieces of nitrile powder-free medical gloves to government hospitals, police stations and first responders.

Plastic manufacturers are also donating plastic items to hospitals and their frontliners in response to the shortage of personal protective equipment including mineral water, face shields, aprons, gowns, shoe or ankle covers, bottles and goggles.

The Malaysian Palm Oil Association has donated ventilators, test kits, hand sanitisers, face masks and personal protective clothing worth RM5 million to the Ministry of Health (MoH) and non-governmental organisations.

Meanwhile, the Malaysian Rubber Export Promotion Council and Malaysian Rubber Glove Manufacturers Association have pledged to donate five million medical rubber gloves to MoH and agencies such as the Royal Malaysia Police, Immigration Department, and Fire and Rescue Department.

Separately, Malayan Banking Bhd contributed RM4 million to Mercy Malaysia’s Covid-19 Pandemic Fund to support strategic preparedness and response plan for the virus.

Other contributors to lighten the authorities’ burden include Petroleum Nasional Bhd and MyEG Services Bhd.

Journalists on the Front Line, Too

Former Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail called for the protection of journalists during the MCO by urging government agencies and ministries to conduct virtual press conferences instead.

She said ministers can record their press conferences and send it to the news organisations for the journalists to prepare their news reports.

Print, online and broadcast journalists, photographers and cameramen are out on a daily basis to attend press conferences and media briefings of Covid-19, either by the prime minister, MoH or the police.