The statistics of H1N1 deaths threaten to increase. In this current state of affairs, who should we blame?
The health authoritities for not doing enough? Or ourselves, for not doing enough, as well?
Are the health authorities not acting fast enough in the situation, which is an emergency, by any measure.
Should Malaysia go the Mexican way?
"From the moment this so-called swine flu was identified, the Mexican government worked vigorously to contain the contagion — closing all schools across the country, limiting public gatherings and instructing people to wear masks and refrain from greetings involving physical contact. President Felipe Calderón himself led the response, underlining the seriousness of the situation, and that may explain why so many Mexicans have complied. Already, the number of deaths seems to be stabilizing, perhaps indicating that the first wave of this influenza has peaked." -- extracted from This New York Times article.
Mexico’s Deputy Foreign Minister Lourdes Aranda tells Sunday Star in an interview:
"Mexican President Felipe Calderon declared an emergency and ordered the closure of schools, nurseries, universities, theatres and museums until further notice in Mexico City, the world’s most populous city with 24 million inhabitants, to stop the spread of the disease.
The emergency gave the president powers to order quarantines and suspend public events. Football matches in the soccer-crazed nation were played to empty stadiums.
For those who had to go out, wearing mouth masks were a must as “swine flu” fear gripped the capital city.
“The Mexican way of life came to an abrupt halt. Imagine, in a colourful and bustling city, people had to stay home for days. And the president led by example.’’
Our Health Minister Liow Tiong Lai has already described the outbreak as a "national emergency". And that's after our Prime Minister Najib Razak said this was a pandemic.
But here's the thing -- Liow said that the government "will only consider declaring a health curfew if the mortality rate goes above 0.4 per cent".
The country's mortality rate for H1N1 is currently between 0.1 per cent and 0.4 per cent.
Any decision to this effect is will teh National Security Council. Liow said it is not up to the Health Ministry.
Liow is aware of the Mexican experience.
But he says, "if everyone plays their role, we should be able to stop the outbreak".
I do understand English. So, my understanding here is that IF we all play our role (which is?), the situation can be arrested. Right?
So, what is everyone's role? The government, the people...
My role is -- and because there is no other official announcement forthcoming -- to make sure I don't contract the disease by washing my hands regularly (with hand sanitizer which I have handy in my handbag), avoiding public and crowded areaand practising social distancing as far as I possibly can, and wearing health mask (I don't always do this). What else, then....?? I could stay home until all this is over.....
Anyway schools are still open. Public and private offices are still open.
So, what's the right decision the government should be taking now?
Should the mortality rate be the only consideration? It's like waiting for more to die before taking the bull by the horns.