KUALA LUMPUR - A social media post by a Malaysian doctor urging the public to adhere to the government's restricted movement order (RMO) has triggered a #StayAtHome and #KitaJagaKita (We take care of ourselves) campaign on social media.
Dr Gee Teak Sheng, a consultant neurosurgeon at Penang's Pantai Hospital, took to Facebook to remind Malaysians that staying home would help to not only curb the spread but also lighten the burden of front-line medical experts during this crucial time.
"I stay at work for you, you stay at home for us," said the message held by Dr Gee, in a photograph he shared on his profile on Wednesday (March 18).
At press time, the post had garnered at least 17,000 likes and 57,000 shares on the social media platform.
Dr Gee's message, amid heightened worries about the coronavirus pandemic around the world hit the right note, as officials have complained that while 60 per cent of Malaysians heeded the government's advice to stay at home, the remaining 40 per cent didn't seem to have heard the message.
The RMO, announced by Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin on Monday night, banned public gatherings, closed schools and businesses, stopped overseas travel for Malaysians and shut out tourists until March 31.
Despite the government's order to cancel all mass gatherings, some Malaysians were still seen flouting it by eating out and gathering at public parks, which led to Dr Gee posting the content.
To date, Malaysia remains worst hit by the pandemic in South-east Asia, recording 900 cases on Thursday and two deaths.
Two-thirds of these cases stem from a religious gathering at a mosque in Kuala Lumpur late last month attended by some 16,000 people.
Meanwhile, other health workers have also joined in by posting similar posts and tweeting on the importance of keeping one another safe.
The #StayAtHome hashtag is currently trending on Twitter, with more than 150,000 tweets have been posted on the matter it so far.
This led to the general public responding with the #KitaJagaKita hashtag, with many thanking the medical professionals for their service, as well as encouraging one another to be more responsible by staying put and aware of the situation.
A centralised effort initiated by group of good Samaritans have also been launched, which aims to link "kind-hearted people" with organisations working to assist groups badly affected by the RMO, it said on its website.
Mooted by Ms Hanna Alkaf, she is collaborating with other volunteers to reach the campaign's objectives.
"The movement restriction began on March 18 and is scheduled to last until March 31, in response to the worsening Covid-19 pandemic. While the restriction is necessary, the two-week period will cause severe hardship to a number of people including taxi drivers, labourers, roadside food sellers and employees of various kinds who do not have ample social protection," it said on its website.