Proactive and Preventive Measures to Boost Public Confidence
Kuala Lumpur, Jan 31 (2020) – Initiated by MACEOS, industry stakeholders consisting of conference and exhibition organisers and venue operators met today with MyCEB to develop proactive measures in response to the Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV).
The Chinese government should be lauded for taking very bold steps to contain the virus by locking down an entire city of Wuhan and banning its people from leaving the city. Within the short stint, aggressive efforts have been taken to contain the outbreak, which included the building of a new hospital in just 10 days, to help minimise the impact.
The Ministry of Health Malaysia has acted proactively to manage the situation in line with the World Health Organisation (WHO) declaration. Industry players can always obtain the most current status update of the situation. As of January 31 (3:30pm), the situation in Malaysia appears to be under control, with eight suspected cases and zero death, while Thailand has 14 suspected cases, Japan (14), Singapore (13), Hong Kong (12), Taiwan (9), Australia (9) and the United States of America (6). Zero deaths have been reported in these countries. Under such a situation, all three stakeholders (government, private and non-governmental organisations) are working closely together to disseminate the correct information to the public and portray Malaysia as a safe destination for tourism and business events.
To date, it is still business-as-usual for all major business events in Malaysia, with only a few international events being temporarily postponed to a later date because they involve big numbers of attendees from China.
MACEOS is serious that industry players should take proactive measures and other necessary precautions to ensure the health and safety of its employees, delegates and the society at large.
A list of measures have been drawn up by MACEOS:
- MACEOS shall monitor closely the situation and update members from time to time. MACEOS will issue advisories to all stakeholders to follow the guidelines issued by our Ministry of Health Malaysia and Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture Malaysia. Currently, there are no advisories against Travel to Malaysia and restrictions are only imposed on Chinese citizens from Wuhan and the province of Hubei.
- MACEOS will ensure there is uniformity in communication to the public in line with the advisory given by the World Health Organisation and the Ministry of Health Malaysia.
- MACEOS has proactively advised all industry players to ensure that the standard precautionary measures provided by the Ministry of Health Malaysia are being adhered to. Event organisers and event venue operators shall discuss how best to install thermal scanners and enforce essential protective hygiene by providing sanitisers and masks. Where the need arises, industry players shall work together to consider the next appropriate action. Where possible, stakeholders may consider implementing contact tracking as a matter of contingency IN CASE the situation worsens.
- Finally, it is important for the industry as a whole to work closely with various government agencies such as the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission to counter fake news being spread on social media. Taking the cue from the WHO, to date, although many governments, airlines and businesses have already implemented travel bans, there is no need for such measures to be taken for now. Quoting Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, its director-general, we must be reminded: “This is the time for facts not fear. This is the time for science not rumours. This is the time for solidarity not stigma.”