COVID 19 POLICY SWITCH A NEW LOW FOR MALAYSIA SAYS MALAYSIA ASEAN APEC LEAD CONSUMERIST PROF DR JACOB GEORGE

‘Most importantly, that any policy must be an evidence-based, public health explanation for the government’s decision to reduce quarantine days!’

COVID 19 POLICY SWITCH A NEW LOW FOR MALAYSIA SAYS MALAYSIA ASEAN APEC LEAD CONSUMERIST PROF DR JACOB GEORGE

I sat with a former retired Director General of Health Services.

He was flabbergasted the manner and means health policy protocols were being administered and the contentious manner from the onset it has been addressed.

One word described his feelings – disgusted!

Tak faham pei rujuk kamus!

He was not wrong as that was what millions of Malaysians from all walks of life feel!

It is the same with the medical intelligentsia and experts in epidemiology and several of my friends in high office in the World Health Organization, global frontliners and first responders.

Every day there is a member of the Cabinet who says or shares a policy initiative which goes against intelligence, logic, data, facts, Malaysian history, even those preserved in the United Kingdom’s archives!

If we thought that was bad, again come against science, consistency, clarity good governance the sitting Minister of Health Dr Adham Baba saying something completely ridiculous and stupid!

In his latest he went on record stating that the quarantine period for ministers returning from abroad to three days instead of 10.

Worst he goes to try to justify this that it is to assist the economic recovery and eventually extended to business travelers and the public.

His reasoning takes an idiotic dive when he says that is because the 10-day quarantine period had deterred investors from visiting the country, hurting the economy.

The consensus coming from the experts from the country and abroad is simply that this exemption under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Disease Order 2021 issued by the Health Minister is a clear abuse of the provisions under the Emergency Ordinance.

It is a supreme arrogant and audacious decision to cut the quarantine period for ministers to three days from the mandatory 10 days!

Once again it confirms to Malaysians and observers this is again a self-serving, detestable, shameful, selfish, and highly irresponsible action!

Let me remind those who are suffering from short term memory loss that the current wave of Covid-19 infections was first spread by politicians zigzagging across the whole country during the Sabah state elections last year.

The result is obvious while individuals drunk with power and others using the situation for personal and political glorification we have a situation where this infection rate is out-of-control and our healthcare system is further challenged and collapsed?

The last thing we need is the situation turning dreadful with Ministers behavior and policy decisions allowing the import of more infectious strains from foreign countries for political expediency!

As I update my blog there current numbers of infection stands at 251,604 and fatalities at 923.

This number will again change by late this evening.

So any current switches of policy deliberation based on stupidity and not facts and science will create more problems for the ordinary communities in Malaysia.

Let us not forget there are still gaps and no availability of any information on our vaccination roll out plan of action!

Today the Academy of Medicine of Malaysia have gone on record that it is troubled by the introduction of the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases (Exemption) Order 2021.

They have rightly pointed out that all standard operating procedures (SOP) must be grounded in science.

That the quarantine period for inbound travelers is set at 10 days based on research which shows that the risk of transmission is extremely low (~1%) after 10 days, with monitoring and testing in place.

That the incubation period for Covid-19 is on average five to six days, but can be as long as 14 days.

Therefore, three days is insufficient to detect symptoms.

Most importantly that any policy must be an evidence-based, public health explanation for the government’s decision to reduce quarantine days!

Politicians and Ministers should not play with the lives of the Malaysian communities based on their whims and fancy.

Like the retired Health Service Director General, I am also totally flabbergasted at the behavior of our politicians and cowed senior civil servants.

We need consistency, clarity and good governance.

We need to address issues in the country using facts, figures, data and science.

I appeal to our beloved YDPA and Royal households to intervene that such abuse of power and arrogance will be stopped and normalcy returned to this nation.