Ending the MCO too soon?
It is clear the Government was hasty when it announced rather suddenly that most businesses can now operate from May 4th, literally 3 days before. They are expected to follow “strict” standard operating procedures, which includes social distancing, hand sanitisers, frequent disinfection and limiting the number of workers in the area. Well, this is the easy part. The devil is in the details.
There was no mention of how, or a clear definition of what. The enforcement of these measures will be impossible as the interpretation of the rules may vary. It would have been more prudent to look into businesses that were allowed to open to see how the implementation can be improved and enforced once they are allowed to operate in full capacity.
Most companies also need time to implement corrective measures and to educate the staff. Announcing this over a long Labour’s Day weekend gives them no time. Thus many companies have opted to keep their staff working from home where possible until further notice.
Many factories also may have relied on foreign labour, even possibly the undocumented ones. This is a group that we have little knowledge on and testing rate among this group is low. Learning from Singapore’s experience, one positive case will likely cause an explosion among this group. So we must be cognisant of the demographics of workers.
Ridiculously daycare centres are asked to practice social distancing among the children! As parents, most of us will know that this is clearly a gargantuan task. As more working adults are forced to find care for their children, extra expenses will be incurred. Worse still, many will seek help from their aged parents to care for the children, exposing a vulnerable group to more infections.
There is bound to be a lot of confusion and details are still scarce from the National Security Council. It is clear that the economic situation has become dire enough to balance the risk of a spike in coronavirus cases. Trusting people to practice hygiene at all times is wishful thinking.
We can only pray that the COVID19 cases will not escalate further.