Apply the heavy hammer and implement strict and aggressive lockdown measures – call for a Total Lockdown and plan our medical resources to face the likely situation of 10,000 actual Covid-19 cases

Yesterday the Ministry of Health announced a total of 1,183 confirmed Covid-19 cases and 8 deaths putting Malaysia the third highest cases in Asia just behind China and South Korea and also the highest confirmed cases in South East Asia.

This is an unprecedented situation that may lead to a full blown pandemic outbreak but the government has not shown enough leadership to put the heavy hammer down to battle the Covid-19. I reiterate my call yesterday for the government to enforce a Total Lockdown with strict and aggressive lockdown measures.

As what has been revealed by the Director General of Health Noor Hisham Abdullah yesterday, the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases are expected to spike next week as people who attended the Tabligh gathering were tracked down.

Noor Hisham also announced that there will be an additional 3400 beds and 300 icu beds from 26 hospitals in addition to the 1350 beds in Sungai Buloh Hospital. This brings the total available beds to treat Covid-19 patients to 4750 beds. He also mentioned that the MOH is trying to add another 200 ventilators to increase the total available ventilators to 500.

This is a commendable effort from the MOH. However, the government needs to start planning for more available resources and assets to face the likely situation of 10,000 actual cases materialising.

Malaysia has so far carried out 14,661 test on the Covid-19, almost 8 times lesser than countries like Canada(1085 confirmed cases) and Australia(791 confirmed cases) which has done over 113,000 test each. In comparison, South Korea is doing mass testing at 10,000 test per day and have done more than 316,664 test, almost 22 times more than Malaysia.

The number of testing done by Malaysia is 8 times lesser compared to Canada and Australia but our confirmed cases are more than both of Canada and Australia. This is a strong indication that Malaysia actual cases is far greater than the confirmed cases which was announced at 1,183 as of yesterday. I urge the government to ramp up their effort to start planning resources to face the likely situation of the 10,000 actual cases materialising.

When all these cases materialised, our healthcare system will be stretched thin and with the limited medical resources and assets, we may eventually be forced to turn away patients and to choose the patient with a higher chance of survival to save, the exact situation Italy and Wuhan have been facing. There is no time to lose and the government must be decisive and start acting now!


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Chong Zhemin
Media statement by Chong Zhemin in Kampar on Sunday, 22nd March 2020