Limit visitors to all premises to 10, says ex-deputy health minister

Former deputy health minister Dr Lee Boon Chye says the movement control order is welcomed but more can be done to improve it.

GEORGE TOWN: Former deputy health minister Dr Lee Boon Chye today said there are several hits and misses in the government’s implementation of the movement control order (MCO) but more can be done to improve them.

While congratulating the health ministry for following the solid flu pandemic guidelines put in place for many years, the Gopeng MP said he would have taken the American path in further containing the Covid-19 spread.

He said the first step was for all premises to limit visitors to 10 at any one time and to record their particulars.

The next would be to seal off localities with known infection of the virus and disinfecting them immediately. Those staying in the infected areas must not come into contact with other residents.

Lee said those leaving infected areas must show documentation and declare where they were headed and must be subject to temperature scans on their way out.

“We should discourage cross-state travel, but the registration process should be simplified. All we need is the destination, contact number or email for contact tracing,” he said.

Putrajaya announced the MCO on Monday, as health authorities fight a new wave of Covid-19 cases which has resulted in two deaths this week.

The number of cases has climbed to 673, making it the highest in Southeast Asia to date.

One person to issue statements

Klang MP Charles Santiago said a sole spokesman should be appointed to give all details and explanations regarding the MCO to ensure clarity and less confusion.

He said the measures announced by Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin were unclear and, because of that, one person should be appointed for the public to refer to for answers.

Santiago gave as an example the National Security Council’s (NSC) FAQ on the MCO which, he said, came a little too late and had contradictory statements involving in-campus students.

The NSC’s conflicting messaging was related to a last-minute option for on-campus students to stay put at their hostels, as opposed to having them flock back to their hometowns, a move seen as dangerous given the current situation, he said.

Meanwhile, Subang MP Wong Chen said the government had clearly made some mistakes in the initial stages of the implementation of the MCO.

He said restricting the movement of the people was unprecedented and, therefore, there should be some level of forgiveness and for everyone to move forward.

“They must now try to have a rapid response team with clear scope and powers,” he said.