Strict implementation of MCO is needed to prevent the undo of all the good that has been achieved


Press Statement by YB Kelvin Yii:

I believe that the extension of the MCO until the 28th is a good move especially in view that we r still in the midst of the infection and the peak in our country has probably not yet arrived as predicted by the WHO and even JP Morgan.

The extension is needed to break the cycle of infection especially in view of the amount of Malaysians coming back from overseas thus risking another wave of infection if no urgent steps were take.

Since the implementation of MCO, the Ministry of Health has confirmed that the infection rate has reduced in Malaysia by over three times in three weeks.

On top of that, for public health reasons, the ban on non-essential interstate travel must continue leading up to and beyond Hari Raya Aidilfitri. The risks of spreading the virus particularly to the elderly, in the case of a balik kampung exodus are real.

A premature withdrawal or excessive relaxation of MCO restrictions will potentially undo all the good that has been achieved from staying home these past four weeks.

So i welcome the move and on a health perspective as it is really needed as the war against Covid-19 is far from over, and many sacrifices have and will continue to be made this year.

However we cannot deny that such decision will have a other impacts including economic impact on the people, especially the poor and those that lost their income due to the MCO.

In our service to our constituency for past few weeks, we have come across such people on a daily basis where they struggle to put food on their table for their families.

On top of that, people in business are also affected due to the extension. While the Economic Stimulus is a welcome addition to help the SMEs, it may be insufficient to keep many businesses going and more importantly to retain employment for the people.

Another aspects the decision the government needs to consider is the impact towards the patients of other diseases besides Covid-19 including cancer and other Non Communicable Disease(NCDs) who had to delay their treatment or appointments due to the MCO. Some cancer patients are already struggling to come to terms with the delay in their treatments.

Many patients with diabetes and kidney ailments may have already missed their appointments and are not getting their regular drug supplies. This of course may result in an increase of the rate of hospital admissions due to complications of such diseases that will not only put additional pressure on the hospitals, but in worst case scenarios, increase mortality for patients of such conditions.

On top of that, many patients had to reschedule elective surgeries that were postponed during the Movement Control Order (MCO) that is expected to end on April 28th.

An elective surgery does not necessarily mean that it is optional, but that it can be scheduled in advance because it doesn’t involve an urgent life-threatening condition. But, there are also possibilities that the medical condition of patients may worsen if such procedures are delayed.

There is a Ministry of Health (MOH) guideline dated March 24 on surgery during the coronavirus outbreak that said “all elective surgeries should be postponed as to divert our available resources for those suspected or confirmed to have Covid-19”.

While i understand behind the rationale of such directive, but the effects of it is it will increase the backlog of surgeries caused by the MCO. The doctors will then need to prioritse who needs to have procedures ahead of others.

As a result, the hospitals will need to work extra hard clear the deferred surgeries and make way for new ones as soon as they can. This of course slows down intake of new surgical patients after the MCO so that they can clear all of their backlogged cases.

So that is why i believe the Government should look holistically on the effects of the MCO on healthcare itself as we do not want the morbidity or mortality rate of other diseases to go up at the background of the COVID-19 outbreak.

That is why I hope with this MCO extension, the government will come up a more detailed supportive policies to really ensure that the different spheres of people most affected by this gets the needed support and help.