by BERNAMA/ pic by MUHD AMIN NAHARUL
THE drop in the number of COVID-19 cases from 23 on Saturday to 13 yesterday may have brought some relief to Malaysians.
However, the statement by Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob was a warning that if people continue to ignore the standard operating procedure (SOP), the number of cases may increase to three digits and the Movement Control Order (MCO) may be enforced again.
He said the government has no choice but to re-impose the first phase of the MCO to curb the spread of the deadly pandemic.
Have we all forgotten how we suffered during the MCO? We were prohibited from travelling across states, people could not visit their folks in their hometowns, husbands and wives were separated, and we lost the joy of celebrating Hari Raya Puasa.
Muslims also lost the chance to pray in a congregation in mosques and surau, while people of other religions also could not gather in their houses of worship, and thousands lost their source of income.
Meanwhile, the frontliners had to toil to control the pandemic from spreading.
The public must continue to practise self-discipline to do their part to fight the disease, while the government has reinforced the order for the affected people to be quarantined in designated quarantine stations.
These efforts will hopefully curb the spread of the disease and once again bring down the number of cases which mostly involved those returning from overseas.
Health Director-General Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah has urged those who came back to Malaysia before July 24 and are currently under the monitoring and observation order at home to abide by all the conditions.
Ismail Sabri has also warned that beginning today, people who have not taken the second screening test on the 13th day of home quarantine will be arrested and charged.
Also, from Aug 1, it will be compulsory for the public to wear masks when travelling in public transportation and when they are in crowded places – a move which will help to stop the number of positive cases from rising.
The number of cases reported on Saturday is the highest since June 16, while the number of deaths has reached 124.
On July 8 and 9, the country achieved zero local infection for two consecutive days while on June 10, it recorded the lowest number (two) of positive cases.