Prioritise SOP To Prevent Surge of Covid-19 Cases

By Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye


The number of Covid-19 infections in recent days have hit an all-time high but there does not seem to be any matching increase in SOP compliance.

At this time, there is understandably an imperative for greater mobility of the people in preparation for Hari Raya and family gatherings.

As a result, the authorities have allowed bazaars to operate for longer hours. This is a relief for the rakyat who have been cooped up in their homes for the longest time in our history.

But there does not seem to be a concomitant increase in the needed level of SOP compliance. There are many reasons for this.

With fatigue comes complacency and one let’s one’s guard down for a false sense of relief.

It has to be re-emphasised again and again that SOPs are in place for the protection of the individual as well as for the community and the nation.

Using face masks, physical distancing and the use of hand sanitisers are needed for external protection while vaccination is for internal protection. External protection and internal protection are equally important for the individual’s and the nation’s health and safety.

While the authorities are not letting up in their efforts to enforce compliance and punish non-compliance of SOPs, it is noteworthy that some notice the practice of double standards or illogical applications of SOPs. This should never happen if we want to gain public trust and confidence.

Inter- state travel is forbidden but free mingling at bazaars are allowed. There is a greater concentration of people in these bazaars than at family reunions for which most people travel interstate.

Let’s have greater consistency in the introduction and enforcement of SOPs lest the rakyat lose confidence in the measures instituted for the achievement of herd immunity. In this connection vaccine roll out and execution have to be expedited so that more in the vulnerable groups can be vaccinated.

Lets’ drive a clear and consistent message to the rakyat, and on a regular basis. Use all the available channels-radio, TV, traditional media and social media-to broadcast the same, consistent messages.

Let there be no exception to the rules, for prince or pauper.

Together we will see this crisis through. Together we must.

We must learn from India so as not to repeat the mistakes here. We must prevent at all cost the exponential surge of Covid cases. To achieve this we not only require additional resources from the goverment but also social discipline from the people to fully comply with the SOPs.

We must never allow the daily spike now to aggravate further until out of control and having to end up coping with a fourth wave.


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