23 Apr 2020

Press Statement: Strategies for the Post-MCO Period

PRESS STATEMENT FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

23 April 2020

Strategies for the Post-MCO Period

As Malaysia plans for the post-Movement Control Order (MCO) period, the Malaysian Health Coalition (MHC) urges that any decision to lift MCO restrictions must be made in stages and in strict coordination with all branches of government and the Ministry of Health (MOH).

In particular, we urge the following:

  1. Transition into Risk-based Conditional MCO
    Some MCO restrictions such as physical distancing in public spaces must continue. Guidelines for conduct in public areas should follow a risk-based colour-coded system of green, yellow and red zones. Specific criteria for what constitutes green, yellow and red zones must be developed by MOH and communicated to other ministries and to the public. The guidelines must clearly state the permitted and prohibited activities for each risk level, including 'inter-zone' travel, as well as set criteria for transitions between risk levels.
  2. Phased Restart of the Economy
    It is crucial that any economic restart is done in phases with strict MOH guidance. The government must ensure that the six criteria issued by the World Health Organisation (WHO, issued on 14 April 2020) are met before reopening any sectors or businesses. The six criteria are: Covid-19 transmission must be under control; sufficient health systems and public health capacities must be in place; outbreak risks in hot spots and vulnerable communities are minimised; preventative measures for the workplace are established; risk of imported cases must be managed; and communities are fully engaged in preventing spread.
  3. Reinforcing New Norms of Behaviour
    We understand that many Malaysians who have been economically affected by the MCO are eager to return to work and resume life as we knew it. However, any phased restart of Malaysia must be accompanied by vigilance until this pandemic is fully eradicated. In recent days, we have made progress. To maintain this progress, we must adopt ‘new norms of behaviours’. Even after certain MCO restrictions are lifted, we must continue physical distancing, maintain our hygiene practices, avoid mass gatherings, and stay home unless absolutely necessary. Communities must be engaged with and empowered to keep one another accountable to ensure these measures are adhered to post-MCO. Finally, as evidence surrounding the use of face masks emerges, the Malaysian government must respond appropriately.

The balance between lives and livelihoods is difficult. We believe that a successful post-MCO Malaysia must be delivered in phases, be evidence-based, and be driven by coordinated decisions. We are optimistic that a joint effort involving all levels of government, stakeholders and society will adequately prepare Malaysians for life after MCO.

BERKHIDMAT UNTUK NEGARA

Malaysian Health Coalition
45 Member Societies & 19 Individuals
Full Signature List on myhealthcoalition.org
23 April 2020