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Sunday, January 29, 2023

COVID-19 : Disaster Management

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On the 25 January 2020, the first case of COVID-19 was detected in Malaysia and traced back to 3 Chinese nationals who previously had close contact with an infected person in Singapore. The first Malaysian was confirmed with COVID-19 on the 4 February 2020. In March 2020, the number of reported COVID-19 cases grew relatively slowly until a event took place at Sri Petaling, Kuala Lumpur, which led to an exponential rise in cases. The Government takes the trend very seriously, especially the rise of the second wave of new infections. The Government priority is to prevent the further spread of this virus within the
population. The then scenario requires drastic measures to be taken to resolve the situation as soon as possible.

To that end, the Government has decided to implement a nationwide Restriction of Movement Order beginning 18 March 2020 until 9 June. This Order is enforced under the Control and Prevention of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 and the Police Act 1967.

In the meantime, the government is focusing on disaster management with the aim of continuously reducing disaster risk through disaster prevention, relief and disaster preparedness programs. This effort is in line with the initiatives undertaken internationally.

“Disaster” means an event that causes disruption to community activities and State affairs, involving loss of life, property damage, economic loss and environmental destruction that goes beyond the ability of the community to overcome and requires extensive mobilization of resources. The occurrence of uncontrolled contagious / pandemic outbreaks and disasters as a result of
biological accidents is subject to the responsibility of the Ministry of Health Malaysia (MOH) as the Leading Agency in the management of outbreaks and disasters due to biological accidents.

Disaster Management shall be conducted based on three (3) levels of management as follows:

i. Central Disaster Management Committee (CDMC) COVID-19 : Disaster Management

ii. State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC)

iii. District Disaster Management Committee (DDMC)

Disaster Management should be handled according to the following levels:

i. “Level I Disaster Management” is the management and handling of disaster incidents that occur in an area and it can be handled effectively by agencies involved in disaster management at the same District Level available without outside assistance or with limited external assistance.

ii. “Level II Disaster Management” is the management and handling of disaster incidents that occur in more than one district in the same state that requires the mobilization of resources at the State Level with assistance from a limited Central Level.

iii. “Level III Disaster Management” is the management and management of disasters that occur in more than one state or are complex in nature that require coordination and mobilization of resources at the Central Level or with foreign assistance.

The level of Disaster Management depends on the evaluation of the Disaster Management Committee at the District, State or Central level. The evaluation should be based on the following elements:

i. complexity and magnitude
ii. destruction and damage
iii. capabilities of financial resources,
manpower and equipment
iv. expertise
v. aid
vi. response time period

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