As we re-open the economy and society, a vigilant and flexible policy approach must be maintained
There are worrying reports of a possible new surge of Covid-19 cases in East Asia. China has just reported 57 new cases, causing a partial lockdown in parts of Beijing. Japan has also reported 47 new infections. Only a few days ago, the spread was supposedly successfully contained in both China and Japan.
On the other hand, Europe has seen signs of improvements but Britain continues to deteriorate. In India, Middle East, South America and Africa, the infection numbers are still increasing.
The latest global infection count now stands at almost 7.9 million with 430,000 deaths.
Note that the global one million infection mark was reached on the 2nd of April. Basically what it means, is that the global spread has gone from one million to almost eight million in just two and a half months.
What do these news and numbers mean to us in Malaysia? What should we, as a nation be doing?
Domestically, we have to continue to be vigilant and maintain a flexible policy approach as we re-open the economy and society. It is human nature to let our guard down as we re-open, which is precisely why the government must do more at this crucial time.
As we re-open, the government must in fact double up on messagings regarding social distancing, hand washing and the wearing of masks. In battling Covid-19, the government must instill the idea that greater freedom must come with greater responsibility.
In my neighbourhood of Mont Kiara, I am witnessing more and more people taking a lax approach. For instance, the number of people going around without masks are increasing by the day. From my personal observations, only two weeks ago, around 90% of the people on the streets were wearing mask. When I went to the supermarket yesterday, the number has since dropped to around 60%.
Internationally, we must continue to take a restrictive approach as many regions are still battling the spread. Again I stress, as we re-open and instinctively relax our guard, we need to analyse and track more carefully, the global infection rate numbers.