KUALA LUMPUR, April 4 — Public compliance to the Movement Control Order (MCO) soared to 99 per cent yesterday, with warning issued by the authorities that there will be no more soft mode or advice given to those who defy the order.

Perhaps, it has seeped into the people’s head the reason behind the government’s enforcement of the order, which is to break the chain of the COVID-19 infection in the country.

On the first day of MCO, the public compliance was only at 62 per cent.

The aim is to get 100 per cent compliance and with the MCO entering its second phase and the 18th day today, the focus will be on the mulish, who remained headstrong, with no care about why MCO is enforced or what COVID-19 is.

It reflects the firm stand by the government in addressing the COVID-19 crisis because if the MCO is further extended, it will affect not only the country’s economy, but also the lives of the people.

Although there is no drastic increase in COVID-19 cases, it should not be taken as giving the public the license to defy the order, instead, the people should continue to help the government to fight this ‘bad virus’ by staying at home and to go out only when necessary.

With Ramadan approaching, the general public, especially traders, will be looking forward to the Ramadan Bazaar, but due to the COVID-19 infection, any activity that involves mass gathering or community event is not  appropriate.

Quoting a statement by Health Director-General Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, public gatherings, such as the Ramadan bazaar, should be avoided,  even when the MCO period is over, with the people keeping to a certain norm and practices, like to not shake hands to greet people, to wash hands often and exercise social distancing, for six months to a year.

So far, six states — Negeri Sembilan, Terengganu, Kedah, Selangor, Johor and Penang — have decided to do away with the Ramadan Bazaar this year, to stay in business.

Perhaps, there is a need for the bazaar traders to come up with creative and innovative ideas, such as providing delivery service to their customers.

Food delivery service is much sought after now, recoding an increase of 70 per cent during the first phase of MCO.

The spread of COVID-19 has also driven healthcare providers and relevant quarters to leverage on new technologies to address the spread of the disease.

A team of robotic experts from Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) has developed five robots to assist frontline personnel in carrying out the COVID-19 disinfection process.

It is only apt that robotic technology be expanded, especially in dealing with COVID-19,  as it indirectly reduces the risk of cross infection and improves efficiency.

If Malaysia wants to be known worldwide, we have to keep up with technology, as hospitals in Wuhan, where the COVID-19 outbreak began, have been using robots equipped with 5G technology to guide patients and disinfect quarantine areas.

In fact, hospitals in Thailand are also using ‘ninja robots’ to measure body temperature and protect their front line health workers.


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