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Lock Down in Malaysia 2020: Lessons from Italy, China, South Korea & Russia Part 1

lock down

The icon of clumsiness, major screw-up and government running blind in the country – the Health Minister telling incorrectly that hot water & acid in stomach can kill the coronavirus. Still wonder why the number of infected cases has shot up after Pakatan Harapan lost power? Image source: SAYS

The partial lock down or technically known as restricted movement is NOT working – unfortunately there are still a good number of morons not exercising social distance, continuing to hike & jog despite the call to stay home, still on the road going back & fro their home town and still hiding & lying to the doctors making things worse.

Worldwide, the number of confirmed infection cases was 308,020 with 13.067 deaths and counting.

There were some interesting observations by Syed Akbar Ali of Outsyed The Box in his open letter to the Prime Minister:-

1. Extend the lock down

In any event our two week restriction is not enough. Rather than wait for the last minute, please make the announcement to extend the MCO so that the country can make the relevant adjustments to its schedules. People are suffering and let’s not make things more difficult by making last minute announcements.

2. Shutdown the public transportation

The Chinese also shutdown their public transportation system – no buses, trains, LRT, MRT, airplane flights, ships, ferries etc. A complete lock down. Our public transportation system is still running. There are consequences to this.

3. Bring in the experts from China

Let us not waste time. Lives are at stake. We really need the doctors, infectious disease, civil defense, public security, public hygiene, food security, supply chain experts etc from China to advise us. The Chinese expertise should be able to help us plenty. So please get the maximum amount of help from the Chinese. This is not the time for pride or jingoism. Peoples’ lives are at stake. This is a time for patriotism.

4. Eliminate middlemen & speed up the test kits, facial masks & PPE

There is talk that Covid19 Test Kits are being deliberately withheld from the market by unscrupulous ‘orang tengah’ or corporate middlemen. At times like this please remove ALL restrictions (like APs, licenses, import permits, import duties, useless red tape etc) that may hinder or prevent anyone from bringing in test kits that have already been accepted to world standards. Please consider price controlling face masks at 50 sen (meaning those blue face masks which everyone is already wearing.)

5. Work with others on the novel treatments.

Chloroquine and high dosages of Vitamin Cs have been prescribed and have been successful. Are we in close contact with the Chinese, Koreans, Americans, Europeans, Israelis, Indians on the status or results of the new methods and medications that they have developed?

6. Greater push on public hygiene and sanitisation.

All corporations that have customer interface must take the responsibility keep their “interface points” constantly sanitised. Banks must make sure that the ATM machines are constantly wiped down and sanitised. Including the door handles and glass doors. Petrol stations must constantly wipe down their pumps – after every customer. It is not difficult if you employ Banglas. If you employ locals this may not be possible. Supermarkets must sanitise trolleys, cashier’s stations. shelves, all doors.

italy covid19

Outside Malaysia & China where it started, Italy presently is at the worst case scenario with 53,578 cases and 4,825 deaths. There is a race to “flatten the curve” – unfortunately Italy had lost the plot (Malaysia in the same increasing trend) but South Korea has done it. Image source: Statista

Italy which supposes to be a first world country obviously had miscalculated the effect of the virus big time and things have escalated to a point where now the medical care is simply overwhelmed and the elderly are left for dead.

Has Malaysia learned from their mistakes?

Italians from all backgrounds have urged others to stop underestimating a disease which is stretching northern Italy’s healthcare system to the limit.

While Italy imposed a localised lockdown immediately after its first deaths, people outside of the “red zone” carried on going to bars and discos, eating meals at crowded restaurants, and hugging and kissing each other despite government advice telling them to limit social contact.

As reality hit home, Italians watched in horror as some in other countries shrugged it off as “just a case of the flu” – as some in Italy had done weeks earlier.


And this rather screw-up story on Italy’s Patient No 1:-

When a 38-year-old man went to the emergency room at a hospital in Codogno, a small town in the Lodi province of Lombardy, with severe flu symptoms on Feb. 18, the case did not set off alarms.

The patient declined to be hospitalized and went home. He got sicker and returned to the hospital a few hours later and was admitted to a general medicine ward. On Feb. 20, he went into intensive care, where he tested positive for the virus.

The man, who became known as Patient One, had had a busy month. He attended at least three dinners, played soccer and ran with a team, all apparently while contagious and without heavy symptoms.

The virus had already been active in Italy for weeks by that time, experts now say, passed by people without symptoms and often mistaken for a flu. It spread around Lombardy, the Italian region that has by far the most trade with China and the home of Milan, the country’s most culturally vibrant and business-centered city.

Reassurances from leaders confused the Italian population.

Mr. Fontana, who had been pressing the central government for tougher action, agreed. He said that the mixed messages from Rome and the easing of restrictions had led Italians to believe “that everything was a joke, and they kept living as they used to.”


lock down wuhan

You notice some similarities between the screw-ups in Italy and Malaysia?

Both did not take lock down seriously and cross infection continued to increase. Of course, there was the biggest stupidity in form of mass, close proximity religious gathering but let’s put that aside, it is too stupid to even think about it. Is Malaysians really want a complete lock down for more than a month like how it was done in Wuhan? Image source: National Geographic

Here we have the Health Minister at the critical point of a major crisis telling the country that hot water & the acids in the stomach will kill the coronavirus. There have been too many screw-ups from the various Ministries with some of the Ministers going missing in action for past few days. Where is the coordinated effort from the various ministries? Some ministers appear on screen for seconds before going off again.

The enforcement of the lock down in the country has not been water tight enough – I sure hope the military has a different SOP of whacking anyone who been loitering around without good excuse during the lock down and ensure that people stay at home as strictly as possible. Some extension of the lock down would be expected if it is going to be effective.

Social distancing seems to be an alien concept for many Malaysians during this lock down – if not for the shopping trolley in front of us at the queue, some idiots are standing very near despite the 1 metre mark on the floor.

I went to Tesco this morning; I could only see 1 bottle of hand sanitizer – at the entrance. There was no crowd control to ensure x number of shoppers inside the hypermarket at any one time. I was not sure whether the shopping trolleys and the escalators were wiped clean on a regular basis although I see the staffs at the check-out counters do wipe the desk in front of them.

To be continued in Part 2

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