KUALA LUMPUR, March 3 — An environmental protection organisation, Pertubuhan Pelindung Khazanah Alam Malaysia (Peka), has called on the government to reconsider the standard operating procedures (SOP) on the wearing of disposable gloves for customers entering clothing stores, which took effect last February 10.
Its president, Puan Sri Shariffa Sabrina Syed Akil said such a requirement would lead to an increase in the disposal of plastic waste, which is difficult to decompose and its accumulation adversely affects the ecosystem and the environment.
“We are going all out to avoid getting Covid-19, but use products that destroy the environment,” she told Bernama.
She expressed the need for the government and community to not ignore the long-term effect on the environment in the fight against Covid-19, especially in terms of health by using biodegradable products.
Meanwhile, Malaysian Public Health Physicians Association president Datuk Dr Zainal Ariffin Omar said he did not see the need to wear disposable gloves to enter clothing stores if it is to prevent infection through contact.
“Based on the advice by the US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), wearing gloves is not necessary for most situations like running errands. CDC recommends wearing gloves when one is cleaning or caring for someone who is sick.
“This SOP (wearing glove) does not help much (to reduce the potential for virus transmission), but can make people lazy or take lightly the practice of handwashing or sanitising,” he added.
He said the use of a hand sanitiser before entering premises is more relevant and effective.
On February 9, Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced that the government has agreed to reopen all remaining business and retail sectors.
He also reminded the clothing store owners to provide disposable gloves for customers to enter their business premises.