PETALING JAYA,Dec 15: More effort must be taken to ensure people wear face masks correctly, say the heads of two medical groups.

Dr Subramaniam Muniandy, president of the Malaysian Medical Association, said there should be stricter enforcement of rules against improper usage, such as keeping their masks under the chin or leaving the nose exposed.

“MMA has observed that there is still poor discipline on the use of masks,” he said, while physical distancing was also not being monitored sufficiently.

“We also believe the current figures of those flouting the rules are not anywhere near the real number. If these offences can be seen on a daily basis, then we are still far behind in getting people to comply,” he said.

However Dr Vikkineshwaran Siva Subramaniam, chairman of Malaysian Medics International, said better education on the rationale for masks was more critical “so they can make an informed decision whether to use it or not”.

He cautioned the public against undue complacency, saying “it is better to be alarmed and take extra precautions”.

Malaysians should remain cautious and assume that the Covid-19 virus is everywhere and take no chances. “There is no indication when a safe and effective vaccine will be available for Malaysia. We should not pin our hopes on a vaccine arriving soon.”

A research group in the US has said that modelling of the Covid-19 pandemic had projected as many as 5,000 new infections a day in March if less than 95% of the population uses face masks.


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