1. The government seems to say that Malaysia faces no real threat of a monkeypox outbreak.
2. Be that as it may, should we not be on guard for any eventuality as our borders are now open to international travellers?
3. Are any standard operating procedures and follow-up action being put in place to get travellers from affected countries to self-monitor and get checked should monkeypox symptoms develop?
4. Our international airports and other public transport handling tourists need to be armed with the right protocols for diagnosis, treatment and quarantine if and when a positive case is confirmed.
5. The last thing we need now is to further burden our healthcare system and economy which is barely recovering from the onslaught of COVID-19 for the past two years.
6. Although health experts have advised the public who are travelling abroad to take the chickenpox vaccine (supposedly 85% effective against monkeypox) there is no clarification or feedback from the authorities on whether our government and private hospitals have adequate supply of this vaccine.
7. Although it is reported that the monkeypox disease may be rarely fatal to humans, Malaysia should not waste time in introducing precautions and restrictions to limit the spread of this outbreak.
8. This could yet be another explosive situation … Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin must step in to arrest the raising concerns of this viral infection.
9. Efforts must also be made to check for any incidences of infection among our animal population.
10. Malaysia can no longer afford to close its borders to travellers, nor allow this latest infection to be the cause of further lockdowns.
Gerakan Vice President