Closing Low Risk Outlets Makes No Sense Says Ex Deputy Minister
Police checking a factory in Kuantan. Dr Lee Boon Chye said some international companies were unhappy as they complied with SOPs, but were still not allowed to operate. (Bernama pic)PETALING JAYA: Former deputy health minister Dr Lee Boon Chye has proposed three ways to balance lives and livelihood as the Covid-19 situation worsens.
He said it did not make sense to force non-essential businesses to close despite being in the low-risk category.
He said risk-based assessment would be more effective to kick-start the stuttering economy while ensuring the numbers are low.
“It should be risk-based and not according to the industries.
Dr Lee Boon Chye.“It doesn’t make sense to punish those who are following SOPs and allow those violating them to continue operating,” he told FMT.
The PKR Gopeng MP said those in the high-risk category should be slapped with stricter SOPs, adding that they could close temporarily if they find it is not profitable.
Lee said foreign trade missions from Japan and Europe were unhappy with Putrajaya as their companies were “doing everything possible and are still not allowed to operate”.
“But those breaking rules are allowed,” he said.
Lee also asked Putrajaya to meet some of these international companies, including Nestle, on the SOPs they had used and how they recorded the lowest number of Covid-19 cases.
“Maybe they can teach Putrajaya on how to improve SOPs in high-risk sectors,” he said.
Lee also said nationwide lockdowns are no longer effective as shown by the numbers, adding that the government should cordon off smaller areas to stop the spread.
“The current models of lockdowns are no longer sustainable,” he added.
As contact tracing has collapsed due to the high volume of cases, he said the only way out is increasing the vaccination rate to 500,000 a day consistently to prevent deaths and reduce severe Covid-19 cases.
A record high of 13,215 cases were recorded on July 15. So far, 6,728 people have died of Covid-19. - FMT
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