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Here's How You Can "Safely" Travel Across Malaysia

Your friendly, easy-to-use travel guide during this pandemic.

Cover image via SCMP via Reuters & aktivno.hr

No need to travel, just stay home

Malaysia is seeing the COVID-19 disease spread again after having it under control for almost three months.

This week, we have seen more than 100 daily new cases.

The total count of active cases has now gone above 1,050 in the country.

For context, active cases had fallen to two-digit count in the first week of June.

Image via Worldometers

One of the reasons for the rise in numbers is unchecked interstate travel

While travelling is essential for millions of us, in a pandemic it is also a high-risk activity.

Amidst the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO), travel was resumed, sometimes for need and at times for fun. The recently concluded state election in Sabah is one such example.

Thousands travelled to and from Sabah, a COVID-19 hotspot with over 880 actives cases as of today, 30 September, and with them, the virus has now travelled across the country.

As of this writing, excepting Perak, Labuan, and Putrajaya, every single state and federal territory has active COVID-19 cases with Kedah (55) and Selangor (43) being in second and third spot after Sabah.

Whether we like it or not, there is no "safe" way to travel

Travelling by default exposes us to people and with several isolated cases reported around the Klang Valley last week, there is no way to know who is safe and who isn't.

Based on information released by the Ministry of Health (MOH), half of the COVID-19 cases outside of Sabah have now been linked to the outbreak in the state, a Malaysiakini tally showed.

Mandatory COVID-19 screening for people returning from Sabah at all Peninsular Malaysia entryways have led to long queues and crowds at the airports on Sunday, 27 September.

Image via Provided to SAYS

So no, you shouldn't travel across the country

Considering the fact that almost all the states and federal territories have active COVID-19 cases, travelling anywhere is asking for unnecessary trouble.

Currently, travellers from Sabah and those who have had close contact with infected patients are required to undergo mandatory swab tests and required to stay home while waiting for the results.

If you test negative but have cold or flu symptoms, you should continue staying home until you recover. And if you test negative while also not showing any symptoms, you should still stay home.

Asymptomatic cases (those who show no symptoms) have been previously reported, including those in Malaysia. Back in May, MOH found that out of the 635 who tested positive, 539 were asymptomatic.

Why?

Because increased travel, regardless of how "safe" you assume it is, will contribute towards new COVID-19 cases. And if cases continue to rise, the government will be forced to implement another lockdown.

If that happens, the situation in the country will become dire.

On 28 September, the Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE) said 75,000 out of 300,000 fresh graduates are expected to be unemployed this year due to the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The total unemployment among fresh graduates will add up to a whopping 116,161 people in 2020.

It sounds scary because it is

Our safety amidst this pandemic is in our hands.

Unless absolutely necessary, avoid interstate travel. It's one of the ways we keep each other safe.

Keep practising physical distancing and wash your hands often. Watch the latest update on the COVID-19 situation:

This story is the personal opinion of the writer. You too can submit a story as a SAYS reader by emailing us at [email protected]

Meanwhile, use your head when scanning temperature:

Here are other ways to keep yourself safe:

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