According to Sin Chew Daily, the Malaysia Prime Minister has announced the extension of the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) for another 4 weeks, which will be until 9 June 2020. This has caused many Malaysians to wonder about the celebration of Hari Raya Aidilfitri celebration as it is from May 24 to May 26, according to publicholidays.com.my.
Hence, the PM has made an exception that Malaysians could still celebrate Hari Raya Aidilfitri amid this COVID-19 pandemic, however, the number of participants of the celebration is limited to 20 people and that they have to maintain social distancing while celebrating.
This exception has raised the attention of the public health experts, mentioning that the government should explain the space required to allow for the celebration of Hari Raya Aidilfitri, in order to prevent the formation of new COVID-19 cluster.Photo source: The Straits Times
One of the public health experts from Universiti Putra Malaysia too pointed out that once these people gather in a narrow and closed environment, they cannot implement social distance, so there should be no group activities in a closed environment like the house because the airless environment will allow the COVID-19 virus to spread easily.
“Whether or not to limit the visit to not more than 20 people, it depends on the size of the house. Not every house can accommodate so many people. If there is no detailed explanation, it may cause new COVID-19 clusters to form,” she explained.
She mentioned in an interview that it is quite difficult for 20 people to fit in a terraced house while social distancing. People who live in apartments and flats can visit the open space under the supervision of the residents association director.
Meanwhile, another public health expert from the Universiti of Malaya stated that the government should not have allowed 20 people to visit at once and that the house owner has the responsibility to control the number of people on every visitation.
“The government has given the public trust by strengthening the community, let’s hope that they will not abuse the trust,” he further disclosed.