From gulping down cooling herbal drinks to conducting self-tests, Malaysia’s general election candidates and party workers are resorting to every measure available to keep Covid-19 at bay.
This comes as Malaysia is experiencing a Covid-19 wave driven by the XBB sub-variant.
The country reported 3,913 new Covid-19 cases on Thursday, bringing the total to 4.9 million. Active cases currently stand at 36,716, up by 36 percent compared with 14 days ago.
Bentong Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA) operation room chief Wong Choo Yak said its center is well stocked with face masks, hand sanitizers and Covid-19 test kits. MCA is a component party of Barisan Nasional.
“Team members who are out campaigning must protect themselves and the public,” he added.
“We know that daily cases are on the rise, so we want everyone to pay attention. We need to protect the elderly and the children, especially.”
Lee Chin Chen, who is the Democratic Action Party candidate for the Bilut state seat in Pahang, said he has been advising his team members every day to take care of themselves.
As for Lee, he has been taking health supplements and traditional herbs to clear the heat in and detoxify the body.
“God willing, my team is still safe. And it is touching that people we meet would give us honey drinks and herbal medication to help boost our immune system,” he said.
Over in the east coast state of Terengganu, the Pakatan Harapan (PH) candidate for the Dungun parliamentary ward, Mohd Johari Mohamad, said he will conduct self-checks prior to meeting voters, apart from taking supplements and multivitamins to help boost his immunity.
In Pahang, Pulau Manis state seat contender Khairil Khalid said he always has a mask and hand sanitizer with him.
“I have always been a bit paranoid (about contracting Covid-19), and I always have my mask in my front pocket all the time. I also think I was the only one in the nomination hall (on Friday) with a mask on,” said Khairil.
Ho Chi Yang, PH’s candidate for the Tanah Rata state seat in Pahang, touched on maintaining some distance in crowded spaces.
“I am a little worried (about Covid-19), but it is not going to keep me from meeting and greeting the constituents. I think it is important to interact with them,” he said.
Caretaker Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said efforts to curb the spread of Covid-19 will be intensified during the two-week campaigning period.
Recommendations on how to stay safe during this period will be announced soon, he added.