The current global pandemic of Coronavirus is unprecedented and considered the worst calamity against human race in recent time with more than 150 countries have been affected. This also include Malaysia which had its first case identified on 25 January 2020. Malaysia though started its pandemic preparedness plan well ahead of time and long before WHO decided to declare the outbreak a pandemic and had a relatively low cases until a large spike in cases in March 2020, linked to a gathering event held in Kuala Lumpur in late February and early March 2020. Currently Malaysia seems to be coping well against the epidemic though to-date (as of 5 April 2020) toll of 3662 confirmed cases with 61 deaths.

Among key preventive measures and strategies implemented by the Malaysian government was to implement the Movement Control Order (MCO) in view of observing the social distancing throughout the country. The order took effect from 18 March until 31 March, however on 25 March it was extended till 14 April 2020.  Other measures including public prohibition to mass gather or attend massive events including religious, sports, social and cultural activities,  Malaysian returning from abroad are required to undergo health check and self-quarantine for 14 days, tourists and foreign visitors are prohibited to enter the country, closure of all kindergartens, government and private schools, closure of all public and private higher education institution (IPTs) and skill training institutes; and closure of all government and private premises except for essential.

In addition, Malaysia has its own National Crisis Preparedness and Response Centre (CPRC) under the Ministry of Health Malaysia to operate under the current period. A total of 57 hospitals are available throughout the country to provide screening services for coronavirus with 26 government hospitals to carry out the confirmation of coronavirus and the suspected patients.

While Malaysia is dealing rigorously with the outbreak by restricting people’s movement, it also has to come to terms with the grim reality of the pandemic’s impact on people’s livelihoods and the economy. According to the Malaysian Institute of Economic Research, the likely impact of the pandemic on the country’s economy could see Malaysia’s GDP may shrink by about 2.9% in 2020 compared with 2019, resulting in an estimated 2.4 million people losing their jobs. Of the 2.4 million job losses, 67% will be among unskilled workers.

In mitigating the likely impact on Malaysia’s economy, the Government on 27 March 2020 had launched an economic stimulus package known as the “caring package” worth RM250 billion ( Est of 1RM = $4.3). Of these, RM128 billion was used to protect the welfare of the people and RM100 billion to support businesses, including small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

Malaysia currently had reported its highest daily jump in the number of patients who have recovered from Covid-19 at from 90-120 daily pushing the recovery tally to 1005 since the first coronavirus case was detected in the country over two months ago in late January though infectious continue to climb. We are hoping to see more recoveries among the patients in coming period. The also government has announced the tightening of the MCO to ensure stricter observation of the population at large on the social distancing  and staying in their home throughout the period that will help to further improved situation.

The Government of Malaysia believes in transparency in handling the Coronavirus pandemic in the country in all aspects of the management to ensure the public’s confidence on all measures that have been instituted by the government. In return, citizens with better understanding of the situation will give their full supports of implemented government‘s policies in mitigating the pandemic.

The world is facing an unprecedented test. As our countries’ interests are intertwined with each other, this is indeed our shared responsibility to battle together against the global pandemic as the virus know no border. No one country is immune and can fight the epidemic alone. Therefore the need for us to work together in solidarity and cooperation on all fronts to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The Government of South Africa led by President Ramahosa has come up with a comphrensive plan for the country to fight against the pandemic which should be fully supported by all South African by strictly observing preventive measures implemented especially in the area of social distancing by staying at home during this critical period.

I believe through the selfless, commitment and patience of all South African, we can win the fight against this Covid-19 pandemic together!

No as of now Malaysia is seeking to purchase relevant supplies from foreign countries and getting some aids on the supplies from our close foreign friends. Products in need are disinfectants, face masks, PCR testing kits, sanitisers, ventilators and protective clothing.

Grateful if you could provide us with some manufacturers of these supplies in South Africa.

  • N95 MASK