Letter: Extension of CMCO and Hari Raya Aidilfitri Celebrations

Reference is made to the announcement by the Honourable Prime Minister on 10 May 2020 on the extension of the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) and the practices which are allowed.

  1. The Academy of Medicine of Malaysia (AMM) welcomes the extension of CMCO to 9 June 2020 and believes it is the appropriate decision to maintain the lowered numbers of COVID-19 cases whilst gradually reopening the economy in phases according to zones.
  2. The AMM expresses its deep disappointment that ‘small’ Hari Raya parties of not more than 20 persons would still be allowed. This could only undo all the good work to control the COVID-19 pandemic thus far in our country. It has been proven that it only takes one infected person (especially asymptomatic or false-negative ones from the COVID-19 testing currently used) to spread the disease unknowingly to family members. We propose that face-to-face Hari Raya celebrations should be only with family members residing in the same house. We must remember the immense difficulties and massive resources needed to do contact tracing. We would like to request the Government to review this policy.
  3. Restrictions on interstate travel are still in place and we should strictly observe this rule.
  4. Continued vigilance is needed for the maintenance of green zones and containment of red zones. New clusters are still appearing and non-adherence to precautions will escalate this.
  5. We need to stay vigilant and not let our guards down. Current habits of good hand hygiene, maintaining physical distancing, avoiding mass gatherings and wearing of face masks in public must still be carried out .

An excessive relaxation of CMCO restrictions will potentially reverse hard-won victories achieved through the sacrifices of Rakyat and front-liners alike. COVID-19 remains an active threat and Malaysians need to work together to maintain precautions to prevent its spread.

We, the under-signed:
Academy of Medicine of Malaysia (Professor Dr Rosmawati Mohamed, Master)
College of Anaesthesiologists (Dato Dr Jahizah Hassan, President)
College of Dental Specialists (Professor Dato’ Dr Lian Chin Boon, President)
College of Emergency Physicians (Dr Ridzuan Dato’ Mohd Isa, President)
College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (Dr Michael Samy, President)
College of Ophthalmologists (Dr Nur Fariza Ngah, President)
College of Paediatrics (Professor Dr Thong Meow Keong, President)
College of Pathologists (Professor Dr Cheong Soon Keng, President)
College of Physicians (Dr Letchuman Ramanathan, President)
College of Public Health Medicine (Dato’ Indera Dr Sha’ari Ngadiman, President)
College of Radiology (Dr Amir Fuad Hussain, President)
College of Surgeons (Professor Dr April Camilla Roslani, President)

The Academy of Medicine of Malaysia, embracing 11 Colleges and 15 Chapters, is a registered body representing medical specialists in Malaysia.

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