In a recent interview with Dawn Chan from the New Straits Times, Professor Dr Victor Hoe provided his view on the implementation of the interstate travel ban. The interstate travel ban was instituted as the number of COVID-19 cases is on the rise. The cases have been increasing for the last couple of weeks. The COVID-19 Epidemiology for Malaysia – Epid Week 15 reported a 7-day moving average of 1516 cases (10th April 2020) increased to 1963 cases (17th April 2020). This trend has been driven primarily by outbreaks in Sarawak, and Kelantan and to a lesser degree Selangor, W.P. Kuala Lumpur. and Sabah. The transmissibility in Malaysia, as measured by the Rt, has been observed to have increased by approximately 0.3 to 1.37 within week 15. There are also reports of workplace and community clusters.
Dr Hoe has the opinion that the interstate travel ban as the idea of stopping the movement of people was very abstract. He felt that the police should not put too many resources to enforce the interstate travel ban, as it is not the way to stop the transmission. Instead, the priority should be on ensuring the people follow the SOP. The public should also take the responsibility to ensure that the people around them follow the SOP.
“I hope people will understand that the onus is not just on the government, police or enforcement bodies. Everybody needs to adhere to the SOP. By doing so, everyone gets to go back to work, make money and ensure society continues to function,” he said.