Malaysia has been recently ranked number four in a global survey when it comes to the people’s thoughts about the way the government has been handling the coronavirus situation. We can be proud as we are way ahead of Singapore and Indonesia, which is known to be number seven in the list.
As a country with 31mil people, we now stand at 6,726 with 5,113 recoveries and 109 deaths. The past weeks, however, Malaysia has been reporting triple digits cases on a daily basis. The infection started when the biggest cluster of them all — Tablighi Jama’at was held at Sri Petaling and had an estimate of 16,000 people attending the event from all over Asia. Amongst the 16,000 were 14,500 Malaysians whereas the rest of the attendees were from Brunei, Singapore, Indonesia and more. The cases spiked tremendously from two to three digits as well as recording its first two deaths in March 2020.
As the numbers kept rising every day, the government finally put a halt to everything by implementing a partial lockdown, or better known as the Movement Control Order which began on March 18. Many Malaysians started to panic as the Prime Minister announced the two weeks lockdown. In order to flatten the curve, Malaysians were ordered to stay at home and were only allowed to go out when it’s necessary such as to buy groceries or any other emergency purposes.
Most businesses were closed down, over 9,000 people were arrested for not abiding by the order and that was when Malaysians were beginning to understand the seriousness of the situation.
The MCO which initially was supposed to be conducted for only two weeks was then extended further for another two weeks and it kept going until May 4. Which the Prime Minister announced to loosen up some restrictions in order to revive back the country’s economy, as the number of cases seemed to be under control.
With the extension and all, JP Morgan previously had released a study stating that Malaysia would reach its peak of COVID-19 infection by mid-April with an estimation of 6,300 cases.
In comparison, other countries especially the United States and the United Kingdom were seen to be still facing difficulties in order to help curb the coronavirus infections. According to The Edge Markets, Chief executive officer of real estate agency IQI Global Group Kashif Ansari said in the survey that, Malaysia has came in number four with an index score of 58. It seems like, amongst the countries in Southeast Asia, Malaysia is quite a safe haven from the virus. Especially when neighbouring countries like Singapore, Indonesia, and the Philippines have a total of 23,822, 14,265 and 11,086 cases.
At the same time, even the Chinese healthcare experts who came down to Malaysia to assist the local authorities are quite impressed with the way Malaysia has been handling the situation. That said, we should pat ourselves on the back for obeying the order and by helping bring down the number of cases in the country. Soon in time, Malaysia and the rest of the world may go back to the way it was but for now, this is the new normal.