This open letter is an important message to all of us, Malaysians. As we know, the number of COVID-19 cases is on the increase every day. 1306 cases were recorded on March 21, 2020 and it is expected to rise by the end of the week. In the battle against Covid-19, the Ministry of Health (MOH) is the main pillar to save Malaysians from contracting the deadly virus.
THE ISSUE OF DR. ADHAM BABA STATING MISLEADING FACTS
We believe that MOH is always serious and committed in handling this epidemic situation. Therefore, in this critical situation, room for mistakes and carelessness should be avoided at all costs.
However, recently Dr. Adham Baba has raised doubts among the public about his credibility as the Minister of Health. This is due to the statement he delivered in a TV show hosted by RTM on March 19, 2020. During the show, he mentioned that the coronavirus can be killed by drinking warm water and that acid in the stomach can destroy the virus.
His view has gained attention by many including medical doctor like Dr. Amalina Che Bakri. She slammed his statement via her twitter account, saying that killing the virus by drinking warm water is just a myth. In fact, there is no scientific proof to it. Besides, on February 26, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) also shared Dr. Amalina’s view on the matter. In addition, Datuk Dr. Noor Hisham Abdullah, the Director General of Health also informed the public that any treatments used for COVID-19 patients must be scientifically proven.
Therefore, we urge the Minister of Health to make a clarification on this matter to the public. This is to prevent the public from believing the misinformation made by Dr. Adham Baba. As a reminder, if Dr. Adham Baba does not have the accurate fact, it is better for him to admit his lack of knowledge on the particular issue rather than giving misleading statement to the public.
We suggest that Dr Adham Baba and his team immediately correct this fact through media statement to clarify on the matter.
According to a statement made by Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah recently, he keeps his distance from the misstatement made by the Minister of Health that says COVID-19 can be avoided by drinking warm water. Dr. Noor Hisham also states that patients’ management and treatments by MOH are based on clinical and scientific evidence. Evidence and data-based medications are MOH’s pillar in terms of treatments used for patients.
In view of the increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in Malaysia, all information from MOH needs to be checked thoroughly in order not to mislead the public. This incident of giving false or unscientifically proven information should be avoided because it can give negative impact and create panic in society.
What is most important now is we should strengthen the workforce, upgrade our medical facilities by increasing the quantity of hospital beds, medical equipment and supplies, and giving high priority to the front-liners’ health protection.
MESSAGE FOR SELFISH MALAYSIANS
Looking at the number of patients placed in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), and Malaysia’s increasing number of COVID-19 cases, the Ministry of Health needs to work hard to fight this epidemic. Not only that, the public have a huge role in battling the spread of this virus by following MOH’s guidelines and instructions.
The Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has ordered Malaysians in his speech to “Stay at home, Minimize your movement”. Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah also strongly ordered all the Malaysians to follow the Restricted Movement Order.
They have done their job. Us? Still stubborn and keep disobeying the order? Bringing family members out unnecessarily and seemingly unconcerned about the 1-meter rule that has been set by the MOH? Some even spread fake news about COVID-19 on social media. These immoral actions need to stop immediately as it will make things worse.
To all beloved Malaysians, there is still hope to heal our country and the world from this epidemic and for our lives to return to normal. We want to be with our loved ones, but this will not happen if we keep being stubborn and violate the RMO.
Therefore, we urge all the readers to keep practicing these tips during the RMO:
- Stay at home. Leave your house only for urgent matters.
- Minimize the number of family members to run errands out there. One person is enough.
- Wear a 3-layer face mask and bring hand sanitizer with you for personal hygiene.
- When you arrive home, avoid contact with all family members. Wash your clothes immediately.
- Take a bath immediately to thoroughly clean yourself.
- Work from home
- Always be alert to current updates by the authorities.
Remember that the Malaysia Military Force (ATM) will be assisting the Police force in enforcing the Restriction Movement Order starting this Sunday.
The Minister of Defence, Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob states that the government is confident that with the assistance of the ATM, the public will be more obedient with the RMO. Let us keep hoping that we can overcome the spread of this virus and the epidemic can be stopped immediately with the cooperation of all parties.
Hence, all Malaysians, please give your full cooperation for everyone’s sake. Not forgetting, a big thank you goes to all MOH’s front liners, PDRM, and all obedient Malaysians.
Keep praying for Malaysia!
Ajda Nuha is a part of Research and Writing Cluster for Ajar Demokrasi and Luthfi Yusri are head of coordinator for AjarDemokrasi