Government should distribute the 10 million face masks from China free to Malaysians giving priority to the frontliners in the war against Covid-19 virus

The Government should distribute the 10 million face masks from China free to Malaysians giving priority to the frontliners in the war against Covid-19 virus.

After the frontliners, i.e. those who are handling the Covid-19 cases, clinics, Ministry of Health, police, immigration and military personnel, the balance of the 10 million face masks from China should be equitably distributed to all Malaysians through Members of Parliament regardless of party politics.

The war against Covid-19 virus is a time to treat all Malaysians as one people, regardless of race, religion, region or politics.

With the free distribution of the 10 million face masks to Malaysians, incidents where members of the public are turned away from government departments because they do not have face masks should not happen again.

The global news in the last 24 hours on the Covid-19 pandemic continues to the grim, bleak and ominous, raising the question whether Malaysia and the world are prepared for the worst stages of the pandemic that are to come.

The world passed the grim milestone of 300,000 Covid-19 confirmed cases, which is a fraction of actual number of Covid-19 cases , and with over 13,000 deaths, the sombre scenario the UN Secretary-Generral Antonio Guterres had painted of a global recession of “record dimensions” looms near.

But apart from China, sorely lacking is the “co-ordinated, decisive and innovative policy action” from the countries of the world which Guterres stressed was needed to face “an unprecedented situation” where the ”normal rules no longer apply”.

Yesterday, Italy reported 793 new coronavirus deaths, a one-day record that saw the country’s toll shoot up to 4,825 – 38.3 per cent of the world’s total.

The Mediterranean nation of 60 million on Thursday overtook China as the global epicentre of COVID-19.

It then registered another 1,420 deaths on Friday and Saturday that took its total higher than that reported by China and third-placed Iran combined.

The number of COVID-19 infections in Italy rose by 6,557 to 53,578. The total number of fatalities in the northern Lombardy regions around Milan was 3,095 deaths and 25,515 cases.

These grim figures in Italy suggest the pandemic is breaking through the Italian government’s various containment and social distancing measures and that it remains out of control and the breakdown of the health care system especially in Southern Italy.

Will Malaysia go the way of Italy or China, which has not reported any local coronavirus cases for the third consecutive day although the country is facing a sharp increase of Covid-19 cases from abroad?

MP FOR ISKANDAR PUTERI
Media statement by Lim Kit Siang in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday, 22nd March 2020