KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s success in flattening the Covid-19 curve can be maintained only if everyone works together to ensure self-control in adhering to the new norms.
The government’s “Embracing New Norms” campaign, launched by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin on Aug 8, aims to increase awareness of the need to make changes in our lives, despite the outbreak being under control in the country.
Through this campaign, the government has underlined four strategies to keep spikes in Covid-19 cases at bay, and to break its chain of transmission.
The four strategies are border control, movement control, physical distancing and self-protection.
When the outbreak began, governments around the world introduced border control measures to curb infections.
Malaysia banned the entry of foreigners when it first enforced the Movement Control Order (MCO) on March 18.
The borders are not yet open to international tourists, but those who return to Malaysia or enter for business at any of the country’s entry points must undergo health screening to check for symptoms.
Travellers must complete a 14-day quarantine at designated centres, which include hotels and public training institutes.
People are required to have their temperatures checked when they enter buildings or other premises.
This is to ensure only those who are healthy are allowed to enter.
They are required to check in via the MySejahtera app, by scanning the QR code at entry points.
The second strategy is to implement movement control, to limit activities that involve large groups that would make it difficult to adhere to physical distancing and other standard operating procedures.
During the MCO, the government limited the movement of the public, and prohibited assemblies and outdoor activities.
Offices, schools, and many industries were shut down to limit local transmissions.
Only some essential services, such as healthcare, food and water, as well as security and defence, were in operation.
During the Recovery MCO, the public are advised against going to high-risk areas where there is a possibility of infection or a Covid-19 cluster.
The public can use the Hotspot Tracker feature in MySejahtera to identify virus hotspots.
The next strategy is to ensure physical distancing is practised through avoiding the 3Cs— crowded areas, confined spaces, and close conversation.
As Covid-19 spreads via droplets from coughing or sneezing, people are advised to maintain a safe distance of at least 1m from one another.
This should also be applied while waiting in line at the grocery stores, queuing for public transportation, as well as when making any transaction in places, such as banks.
Restaurants are required to have a distance of 2m between tables for dine-in customers.
The final strategy, self-protection, is to ensure people practise the 3Ws — wash, wear, and warn.
They are encouraged to practise hand hygiene with regular hand washing using soap and water or hand sanitiser, and to put on a face mask in crowded places, such as shopping centres and in public transportation.
Face masks help ensure coughing and sneezing etiquette is followed.
People who are not wearing a mask or do not have a tissue should cough or sneeze into their elbows or sleeves.
In this new norm, shaking hands and other forms of physical contact are discouraged.
Areas that have been contaminated with germs must be disinfected.
Those who show symptoms such as fever, cough or shortness of breath should seek medical assistance.
For information, visit https://www.infosihat.gov.my.
Source: New Straits Times