Kuala Lumpur May 10 FMT: Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad has warned that the country may face a serious health crisis, and advised Malaysians against visiting friends and family members this Hari Raya Aidilfitri.
Speaking live on Facebook today, he urged everyone, including politicians, to play their part to stop a health crisis from occurring “(like) in India and Brazil”.
He said they should follow instructions not to gather for Raya celebrations.
“It is crucial not to gather, not to visit friends and relatives. This is not a good time to visit as we can be infected or pass the infection (to others),” he said.
The way to fight Covid-19, Mahathir said, was for the people to isolate themselves.
He said he did not go to the mosque or Ramadan bazaars as people would come close to him.
“I have not gone for prayers as there is no physical distancing, as people (will come close and) ask me about my health. I thank them for their wishes but the reality is, they come close to me,” he said.
He said even though physical distancing was observed inside the mosque, “when we exit, everyone races to exit. (There is) no physical distancing of 1m”.
This also happened at Ramadan bazaars, when people would come close to him to take selfies.
“When we had Ramadan bazaars, it (the number of Covid-19 cases) increased from 2,000 to over 4,000 cases,” he said.
He urged small traders at Ramadan bazaars to be patient because they may have prepared items to sell for the festival. “We need to be patient because we need to curb the infections by our own actions,” he said.
He urged Putrajaya to contribute food and money to those impacted by the pandemic.
On the number of new cases, Mahathir said the situation was more serious than before “due to variants which are more infectious”.
He feared the number of daily infections may surge further, causing a stress on the health system, such as lack of ventilators.
Because of that, he said, the public must be disciplined, wear face masks and practise social distancing to stop the spread of the virus.
“Just stay at home. We may need to buy food, but food can also be bought online and there is no need to go to the market.
“We need to sacrifice a bit. I hope the government will help those without food and money so their burden can be reduced,” he added.