1. For the last thirteen days the number of new COVID-19 cases reported is above 2,000. Only one day has the new cases gone below 2,000. The last time the number was below 1,000 is almost a month ago.

2. Yes. The situation is serious. But the declaration of emergency has not made the numbers any less. Certainly Kelantan has become worse.

3. In India the new cases have gone beyond 300,000 a day. There is a shortage of oxygen and COVID-19 patients are dying because of lack of oxygen. This is not happening in Malaysia, not yet at least. But we need to be sure it will not happen.

4. The number of deaths has also been relatively small. That is probably because we have enough beds and facilities in our hospitals.

5. If the fourth wave hits us the overworked frontline staff may not be able to cope. And the hospitals may not have enough beds. Even under normal circumstances patients had to be left in the corridors with no life support.

6. If the numbers shoot up again to 4,000 plus a day, and it had done so before, would we be able to handle it? Treatment of serious COVID-19 cases is complex and dependent on the best support devices.

7. We depend mostly on masks and social space separation to minimise contacts. In flare-ups we need to lockdown. These are unpopular, but they are absolutely essential. Governments should not seek popularity but should impose – restrictions and oversee that they are obeyed.

8. Proper lockdowns as we did in the first four weeks of the pandemic was effective. There was not a single car on the road. The streets were all empty.

9. But the economic and social costs are huge. People lose jobs, have no income and no food even.

10. The Government says it had spent 600 billion Ringgits. We don’t really know how the money was spent. But people were allowed to have bazaar Ramadan because the demand for them is great during puasa. It is a chance for people to make some money.

11. But in COVID-19 terms the cost is high. I am sure the Kelantan spike is due to crowds and mass disregard for the SOPs.

12. Lockdown cause people to lose jobs, to be unable to do small business. The Government money should be distributed to these people. Giving a piddling sum once in a year will not do. There should be monthly amounts.

13. It is also important to set up food kitchens in critical places. Free food should be made available to everyone. In most cases the food should be delivered to the homes to avoid crowds rushing for food.

14. Online business should be encouraged. This means a food delivery service is needed. Many people could get employment in this delivery business. But they must adhere to the special SOP for them.

15. Shopping should be discouraged. All purchase should be made online. Retailers should also advertise online. And all payments must be online.

16. Factories which are labour intensive must reduce their labour force. There should be more robots and automation. Workers must observe social distancing strictly. Employers must ensure this in the factory.

17. Muslims performing mass prayers must ensure that they observe social separation. This should be done not only when praying but also when prayers are over and they leave the mosques. It is noticed that they forget about social distancing as they leave the mosques.

18. The COVID-19 pandemic can only be curbed if all SOPs are strictly followed. Private hospitals must be allowed to vaccinate. Vaccines such as Sputnik V and some Chinese vaccines should be certified. Also those being used in America where each day as many as 3 million vaccination are carried out.

19. I suppose the Government is doing its best. But there are other things that the Government should look at. A panel of doctors should be set up to advise the Government.

20. This virus is not going to go away easily. It can plague the world for a long time. The rich countries should cease spending hundreds of billions on ways to kill people. Their best scientists should study and develop ways to combat virus pandemic. At the same time researchers who play around with virus, bacteria and chemicals should be controlled to avoid accidental or deliberate spillage into the systems.

21. We will live with pandemic for a long time. We must learn how to survive. We must develop expertise in dealing with them.

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