by RAHIMI YUNUS / pic by BERNAMA
THE next two to three weeks are crucial in curbing the spread of Covid-19 nationwide, said the Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) president Prof Datuk Dr Subramaniam Muniandy.
Dr Subramaniam expressed concern over the Covid-19 situation in the country amid the spike in cases and an increasing number of clusters in Sabah and other states in the past few weeks.
“These next two to three weeks will be important in controlling the Covid-19 infections as a large number of travellers from Sabah will be returning to other states after the Sabah state elections held on Saturday, Sept 26,” Dr Subramaniam said in a statement yesterday.
He said the MMA lauded the decision by the Health Ministry (MoH) to test all returnees and impose quarantine on all returnees from Sabah as preventive measures, but warned that new clusters can emerge all over the country if they fail to fully adhere to the quarantine and standard operating procedures.
In some cases where physical distancing and isolation are not possible in a home setting, he said the government should look into placing returnees at quarantine centres.
He added that quarantine centres would be the safer option in light of earlier cases of returnees flouting the home quarantine.
“Employers of Sabahans in the peninsular should also ensure that their employees returning from Sabah report to work only if they are certified medically fit and declared free of Covid-19. Employees must also be upfront with their employers on their health status with proper documentation,” he said.
Dr Subramaniam further said the authorities will need to ensure proper monitoring for all those kept in quarantine, while reminding all healthcare workers and general practitioners to ensure they adhere to all infectious disease control protocols in their practice and not let their guard down at all times.
“All healthcare workers must be consistent in ensuring they observe preventive measures when seeing patients and even while off duty or patients and loved ones of healthcare workers can be at risk of infection,” he said.
According to MoH, out of 101 infections yesterday, 17 of them had a travelling history in the high-risk areas in Sabah.