"We need a clear and consistent message to truly flatten the curve, and we need to model our nationwide response after countries like Malaysia." <small> Cover image via Twitter @neuroplebeian AFP/Selangor Journal </small>
An associate professor at Washington University, US recently praised Malaysia’s efforts in combating the COVID-19 pandemic
According to Malay Mail, after safely returning from a trip to Sabah with his family, Dr Jason Hassenstab took to Facebook to share about his "incredible, but poorly timed trip to Malaysia".
His family had to cut their holiday short and head home early, but he “wanted to share a couple of stark contrasts” that he noticed between Malaysia and the US while travelling back.
<a href="https://images.says.com/uploads/story_source/source_image/772780/a213.jpg" rel="segment-312913 noopener noreferrer" target="" title="Jason Hassenstab and his wife wearing face masks at the Lahad Datu airport in Sabah."> <img alt="Jason Hassenstab and his wife wearing face masks at the Lahad Datu airport in Sabah." src="https://images.says.com/uploads/story_source/source_image/772780/a213.jpg"></img></a> Jason Hassenstab and his wife wearing face masks at the Lahad Datu airport in Sabah. <small>Image via Twitter @neuroplebeian</small>
He praised Malaysia’s COVID-19 enforcement that was evident everywhere, even in the remote rainforest where they were staying at in Sabah
"Mobile carriers sent a message about social distancing everyday. The carrier ID at the top of my phone that normallly said 'Sprint' said 'Stay Home' instead," Hassenstab explained.
“In Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), they had security guards enforcing distancing. Information banners with written and visual guidance were hung everywhere. Seats in the airport were taped off so there was an empty seat between each one.”
“All employees were wearing masks and hand sanitiser was virtually at every counter and cash register,” he continued.
“Their government had a totally consistent message: stay home, keep your distance, and clean your hands. And the entire country is doing it!”
Whereas, in contrast to one of the busiest airports in Atlanta, he estimated that only 5% of customs and border control personnel were wearing masks and gloves
"Hand sanitiser was nowhere to be found, other than some of the bathrooms. Shops and stores were open, business as usual. People were jamming together in lines, nobody was enforcing spacing," he observed.<br></br>
“People were staring at us and shaking their heads because we were all wearing masks,” he said, adding that they were wearing masks to protect others around them in case they were infectious and to prevent themselves from touching their faces too often.
Hassenstab also wrote that his family and himself were screened for high temperature at the airport because they were returning from Malaysia and Singapore.
However, 99% of other passengers coming from Japan, UK, and other European countries were allowed to pass through with no further screening or protective measures.
“We need a clear and consistent message to truly flatten the curve, and we need to model our nationwide response after countries like Malaysia,” he concluded for his fellow countrymen
His Facebook post has received over 3,700 likes, and has been shared over 1,900 times by people from all backgrounds, especially Malaysians, thanking him for his praise and inviting him to visit the country again when times are better.
“Thanks for sharing your recent experience in Malaysia, Prof Jason. Your positive comment gives us extra courage during this period of uncertainty. When time has healed, we humbly welcome you and your family back to Malaysian hospitality,” said this Facebook user.
"Thanks for the kind words, but please inform your fellow countrymen to take this seriously. Human rights of moving around means cr*p when there is a [pandemic]," said another.</p> <p>While this expatriate said, "And that is why we choose to stay in Malaysia even though we technically could fly back to our parents in the States during our school shutdown. We feel safer here than there."<br></br></p>
Remember to #JustStayAtHome. Watch the latest update on the COVID-19 situation:
Here are other efforts Malaysians are putting in to fight the COVID-19 outbreak together:
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