BREAKING NEWS . . . New PM must focus on M’sia living with the virus!

New PM must focus on M’sia living with the virus.

Where politics ends, good gov’t, science, data begin.

Malaysia stands unique in the world, bogged down by politics in the extreme, while hit by a double whammy viz. the worldwide pandemic raging since late 2019 and a economy steadily heading south, rocked by repeat lockdown, labour woes and disruptions to the global supply chain and international logistics.

M’sia, being no New Zealand, must do away with total lockdown for good. It’s a case of too little, too late.

Total lockdown for three to seven days should have been imposed when the first virus case appeared. It’s an exercise in futility after the virus has gone everywhere in M’sia, indeed lurking at the doorstep, and can stay airborne for 72 hours. There’s consensus in the global epidemiological community which most politicians may be ignoring.

According to media reports, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern put the whole country under national lockdown on Tues 17 Aug for three to seven days. Apparently, authorities detected a single case of the novel Corona virus, likely the Delta variant, in the city of Auckland.

The new Prime Minister, once confirmed by the M’sian Parliament on Tues 7 Sept or before — hopefully in a three-horse — will have to run the gauntlet while walking a tightrope on the pandemic and the economy and doing a juggling act at the same time.

Patently, he — a she being unlikely at this stage in history — will have to draw a line somewhere on where politics ends. That’s the point where good gov’t, science and data begin.

The new PM — the tongue in cheek comment going viral has Mahiaddin replacing Caretaker Prime Minister Muhyiddin — can draw on plenty of lessons from the outgoing Administration on the pandemic and economy.

If M’sia remains bogged down by the situation, it will never be able to connect the dots for the Way Forward. No matter who comes and goes in Putrajaya, there will be no change for the better, if we don’t get things right. The brightest and best must lead the way for All.

Vaccines can help . . .

In thinking out of the box and taking a “method in madness” approach, fully vaccinating half the population and thereafter living with the virus, must be prioratised in M’sia as the first policy option in public healthcare.

The vaccine will help moderate the over reaction of the immune system to the presence of the novel Corona virus in the host body.

S’pore, Israel and the United Kingdom, among others, have decided to live with the virus. The economy will stay open, according to the three gov’ts, no matter how high the virus cases go. The three countries will treat the pandemic as an endemic, like a Flu which returns every season. The common Flu may kill. There are Flu shots — vaccines — for the common Flu but not many, except perhaps the elderly, go for them.

What S’pore does on the pandemic will influence it’s “inseparable” twin M’sia.

The prospects aren’t as alarming as it sounds as the world has been living with so many degenerative conditions — think diabetes, cancer, heart disease — illnesses, sicknesses, and diseases including the once dreaded HiV and AIDS.

Even in M’sia, where testing and contact tracing turns up an average 20K virus cases daily, the Ministry of Health (MoH) says that only 1.2 per cent of these figures are in categories 3 to 5 i.e. pneumonia, oxygen support, and on ventilator. Category 1 show no symptoms, while Category 2 have mild symptoms. In India, the largest oxygen producer in the world, those in category 4 are given two cylinders and advised to go home. So, hospitalisation cases in India have dropped dramatically. It can be said that in no country in the world has the public healthcare system collapsed and imploded. Hospitals can always turn away patients who don’t intensive care facilities.

Gov’t looks bad . . .

Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz, former Finance Minister and Co-ordinating Minister for the National Recovery Plan (NRP), told the media last week that hospitalisation figures were a more accurate indicator of the pandemic in M’sia. The daily virus figures don’t keep the pandemic in perspective. It alarms the man in the street, zaps public confidence and makes the gov’t look bad, indeed even incompetent.

For those who can’t remember when they last opened a science book, the symptoms are unleashed by the petrified immune system. It’s a form of over reaction against the perceived aggressiveness of the novel Corona virus in the epithelial cells and lymph nodes.

There are 380 trillion viruses, 60 trillion bacteria — good and bad — and some fungi among the seven trillion cells in the human body. Google for further information.

So, it can’t be said that the virus kills. No medication can eliminate the virus since it’s not a living thing but a form of intelligence. Hand sanitisers remove the fatty layer of the virus and it’s no more, bursting like a balloon.

All symptoms, under the Covid-19 umbrella term, are about fluid filling the respiratory system and virtually drowning the lung cells. If a patient has been deprived of oxygen for three to five minutes, the fluid getting in the way, he or she will either drop dead or be brought in dead (BID).

In 2019, i.e. before the pandemic, global mortality figures show 687 people dying daily in M’sia i.e. at 7.6 persons per 1K; 8K in the US, 24K in India and 30K in China, to cite a few examples.

CV-19 symptoms, according to MoH charts, are finishing off an average 200 people daily “due to co-morbidities”, that’s Greek for undetected underlying medical and health conditions.

If these risks are detected early, and the patient gets on a regime of treatment protocols, control and management, premature death by CV-19 symptoms may be greatly minimised, even eliminated.

Medical Review . . .

Once there’s no alternative but live with the virus, the MoH would probably advise regular medical reviews for all those aged 40 years and above. This would greatly help prevent the vulnerable group from adding to the statistics on premature deaths.

According to the WHO, there are many tools to prevent, test for and treat Covid-19 symptoms, including oxygen, dexamethasone and IL-6 blockers.

Three drugs being tested by the WHO are Artesunate, imatinib and infliximab.

Artesunate is used to treat severe malaria, imatinib helps in curing certain cancers and infliximab is used in the treatment of immune system disorders such as Crohn’s and rheumatoid arthritis.

Lambda, the latest, is a variant of interest. It causes no symptoms or mild symptoms. Other variants of interest are kappa, theta and eta. Soon, we may run out of Greek alphabets to name variants.

According to the WHO, there’s no proof that Delta and Delta Plus from India brings more severe illness than the other variants of concern viz. alpha (UK), beta (South Africa) and gamma (Brazil). The difference lies in the trend that it’s even more contagious, transmits and spreads faster, according to WHO case studies. The Delta variant may have emerged because Indian gov’t studies show that two-thirds of the population have antibodies against the immune system unleashing symptoms.

M’sia has not done antibody studies of the population.

There’s no gamma in M’sia, according to MoH charts. It was reportedly first detected in Japan in four travellers who came from Brazil.

Author: fernzthegreat

Joe Fernandez holds a honours degree in management, majoring in economics, and has opted from academia in law to being a jurist. He was trained professionally on the job as a journalist. He's a longtime Borneo watcher, keen on the history and legal aspects of Malaya's presence in Sabah and Sarawak. He teaches the English language privately and has emerged as a subject matter expert in public examination techniques.

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