2:33pm 21/05/2021
Is 10k still far from us?

By Tay Tian Yan, Sin Chew Daily

The country reported 6,806 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, sending everyone in jitters. With 7k so near, is 10k still far from us?

The next few days will be very crucial. If the R0 value remains high, 10k a day will become a reality.

Why have daily new infection numbers risen so fast over the past couple of days?

Do you notice that the new cases are no longer concentrated in Klang Valley but scattered all over the country?

Hari Raya cluster could be a direct factor.

Although interstate travel ban had been in place before the festive season, many Malaysians actually outsmarted our enforcement officers, using all sorts of letters and excuses to travel out of state at their free will.

As a consequence, the virus followed these people to their hometowns, and then back to the city!

As for those in the city, as they were not allowed to host open house events, they had some other ways of meeting their friends and relatives by making a date at major malls since there is no government rule limiting shopper traffic at the malls.

Some of the so-called socialites, or "Klaster Kayangan" as they are called in the Malay society, have blatantly ignored the bans, getting friends to their luxurious mansions for party and then bragging about it on Facebook.

Actress-turned-entrepreneur Noor Neelofa has openly flouted the SOPs more than once, including enjoying a honeymoon in Langkawi on the pretext of business, purchasing expensive carpet in NIlai, and this time caught holding a party gathering at her luxurious house.

To these excessively wealthy "socialites", fines will never be able to force into into submission.

Besides, we also have plenty of senior government officials who have taken advantage of the gray area to violate the SOPs, setting very bad examples for the rest of the country.

The way our new coronavirus cases grow is quite similar to that of India. So is the attitude of our government and people.

The situation now is almost out of control, or already out of control. Neither the federal nor the state government seems to know what to do with the virus.

On Wednesday, Selangor exco Dr Siti Mariah Mahmud and former health minister Dzulkefly Ahmad who are in charge of the war against COVID-19 in the state, claimed that the pandemic was not actually very serious in Selangor to warrant a complete lockdown, as the healthcare system could still cope with it.

Several hours later, menteri besar Amirudin Shari said the state government would not object to complete lockdown.

Whom are the people supposed to listen to if there are so many differing voices within a team to fight the virus?

Over to the federal government, opposing camps are insistent in their divergent positions. No decision is final until the commander has made the decision. But often when this happens, it will be way too late!

For instance, we have been too late to enforce the MCO 3.0 that is plagued by changes and additions and are evidently ineffective. Similarly, the authorities are equally indecisive whether to impose a complete lockdown this time round.

The government is worried that a complete lockdown will hurt the economy. After several rounds of subsidies and stimulus packages, the government's financial resources are fast drying up while banks are no longer willing to extend the moratorium facilities to borrowers.

The thing is, without a complete lockdown, daily new infection numbers will breach the 10k barrier anytime soon. Malaysians' confidence towards the country as well as our economy will be dragged down with it the moment our healthcare system collapses and things start to go out of hand.



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