Malaysians not adhering to rules pushing up Covid-19 cases: Experts

PETALING JAYA Not wearing face masks properly and a lackadaisical attitude towards physical distancing are contributing to the high number of Covid-19 cases in Malaysia, say health experts.

"This can often be seen among service staff, food vendors, construction workers and in offices in the private and government sectors," said Malaysian Medical Association president Subramaniam Muniandy.

Malaysia reported 4,094 cases yesterday, raising the total to 198,208. There were 10 deaths, bringing the toll to 707.

There should be an increased presence of enforcement personnel and the authorities should consider employing undercover or plainclothes enforcement personnel to monitor outlets and offices, said Dr Subramaniam.

Professor Moy Foong Ming from Universiti Malaya's Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, said more summonses were issued for not wearing face masks in the first three weeks of this month compared with the first three weeks of last month.

"We really need to understand why people are still not wearing masks when Covid-19 cases are so high. Is it because of SOP (standard operating procedure) fatigue, they believe that they will not get infected, or they cannot afford masks?" said Prof Moy.

"Masks stop people - especially those who are asymptomatic - from unintentionally spreading the virus to others," Prof Moy said.

"For example, the risk of Covid-19 transmission between two people will be low if both are wearing masks, moderate if only one is wearing it and high when both are not using it."

In addition to people not following the curbs, the authorities have detected forged Covid-19 result slips being used in a cross-state travel attempt.

In a statement yesterday, KPJ Healthcare said it is aware of reports where falsified or counterfeit result slips using Lablink letterheads had been used in the attempt.

KPJ Healthcare owns and manages Lablink , which is KPJ's pathology laboratory arm.

"KPJ and Lablink would like to reaffirm that these were fraudulent and falsified documents, and internal investigations confirm that all these documents were not issued by Lablink." - THE STAR