Get serious on Covid-19 fight, Dr Mahathir tells govt

There have been calls for total lockdown and the govt is expected to deliberate on the matter today


THE government must be serious in the fight against Covid-19 or more people who could have been saved may succumb to the virus, former Prime Minister (PM) Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad (picture) said.

“We have to be serious about the fight against Covid-19. If not, we are going to see a lot of people who could have been saved die.

“The government claims that it has finished more than RM600 billion in the fight against the pandemic. If so, we should have the capacity to deal with the pandemic. But obviously we have not. We must know why,” Dr Mahathir wrote in his blog post yesterday.

Malaysia reported the highest number of Covid-19 infections with 6,806 cases yesterday, pushing the cumulative cases to 492,302.

There have been calls for a total lockdown to curb the virus transmission and the government is expected to deliberate on the matter today.

Dr Mahathir stressed that RM600 billion is a lot of money and it is not easy for the government to spend that money in such a short space of time.

Thus, the government must accept the responsibility of keeping people alive amid resurgence of Covid-19 cases in the country and that includes the acceleration of the vaccination programme.

“Vaccination must be speeded up. We should accept whatever vaccine that has been used in other countries extensively.

“A special effort must be made to get kampung people vaccinated,” he said.

To curb the virus from further spreading, Dr Mahathir also proposed a month-long home quarantine.

“The home quarantine should be for at least one month. The police and the military should be very strict in ensuring the people do not come out to shop or do anything.

“We need to confine people to their homes. There should not be any excuse for crowds to form. Staying apart must be applied even among the frontliners,” the Langkawi MP, who is also a medical doctor by profession, said.

He added that it was right to introduce the Movement Control Order (MCO), but now the implementation has been less strict.

“For food, there should be public kitchens where food is prepared, packed and delivered to homes.

“It is important that those who are quarantined do not come out to collect the food at the kitchens as this will cause crowds to gather,” he wrote, adding that couriers should be recruited to deliver food to the houses.

There should be no contact between the delivery men and the householders, while hotel kitchens should be utilised to prepare and pack the food.

He said the cost of the proposal should be borne by the government.

“It will be costly, but the government must do it,” said the 95-year-old statesman.