PETALING JAYA,Sept 23: The Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) has hit out at politicians for continuing to hold rallies in Sabah despite the surge in the number of cases there in the past two weeks, saying a quarantine may be necessary for those returning from the state.

MMA president Dr N Ganabaskaran said this is compounded by political leaders who set a bad example when they don’t wear facemasks.

“Their supporters, who are also not wearing facemasks, fail to follow the SOP for social distancing in public gatherings,” Ganabaskaran said in a statement.

“It is very disturbing seeing the SOP being openly flouted when we watch news coverage of the political gatherings. Political leaders should be showing a good example in putting the health of the people there first.

“If such disregard for the SOPs continue, cases will rise further and spread across the state and before we know it, the authorities may be left with no option but to impose a statewide lockdown,” he said, expressing concern over the emergence of a new cluster in Tongod, Sandakan, bringing the total number of clusters to six in the state.

Ganabaskaran added that even though the situation may be under control now, it could easily turn into a nightmare for healthcare workers if cases rise exponentially and overwhelm hospitals.

MMA urged the authorities to be stricter in enforcing the SOPs, including on politicians.

“We are concerned about Sabahans traveling back to their hometowns from other states to cast their vote. MMA believes a quarantine may be necessary when they return to the peninsula,” he said.

The quarantine would act as a precautionary measure to prevent people from letting their guard down when they are back in their hometowns for the polls.

The health authorities today announced 82 new Covid-19 cases with 60 of them in Sabah.


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