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We started 27th February 2020 on a calm note—it seemed that the worst was finally over for us; we only had 2 cases of Covid-19 left and Malaysia seemed well set to eradicating the disease.
Then, we kept confirming case after case, the number only grew as we watched. A little over a week later, 6th March 2020, we had a total of 83 confirmed cases. 13th March 2020, 197 confirmed cases. Fast forward to 19th March 2020 and Malaysia now has a total of 790 cases.
How did we go from having only 2 cases left to suddenly confirming hundreds of cases? What happened in the span of two weeks?
The answer is simple: we didn’t practice social distancing.
When we were told a mere seven days ago to practice social distancing, Malaysians didn’t take the advice to heart. We went on with our daily lives, barely keeping to mind that we had to keep our social distance if we wanted to stop the spread.
Mass gather in Sri Petaling caused two-thirds of cases we currently have
Then, there was a mass gathering in Sri Petaling, which saw about 16,000 people gathered in a single area. The gathering itself can be credited for spreading the disease to over two-thirds of the cases Malaysia currently has.
During the mass gathering, it’s reported that 1 Bruneian was Covid-19 positive, and it’s uncertain if there were anymore there who were Covid-19 positive. Either way, this in turn led to Malaysia’s pandemic outbreak.
South Korea saw the same fate
The same thing happened in South Korea. It isn’t clear when South Korea’s Patient 31 was infected with the virus, but before she attended a mass gathering in Daegu, she had also checked herself into a hospital. After she was tested positive, South Korea’s confirmed cases soared because she had contact with more than 1,100 people.
The scariest part about the novel coronavirus is that infected persons don’t show symptoms immediately after being affected. So, people can walk around spreading the disease before they even know they have it!
This is why social distancing is IMPORTANT
Avoiding public spaces, crowds, and large gatherings lowers the chance of the disease spreading from one person to the next, and the next, and the next. It isn’t just about not contracting the virus, it’s also about ensuring you don’t pass the virus to the people if you already have it.
If we don’t do our part in following social distancing guidelines now, Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah warns that the third wave of Covid-19 might happen.
With so many uncertainties on the line about Covid-19, adhering to all guidelines announced by authorities is what we Malaysians should do.
We hope all our readers stay safe during these trying times. Please seek medical attention immediately if you suspect you have Covid-19!
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