On The JAKIM + JPM Petition To Lift COVID-19 Measures!

On The JAKIM + JPM Petition To Lift COVID-19 Measures!

There is a movement to petition JAKIM and JPM to lift measures that protect Muslims against COVID-19 infections.

Let’s take a look at the claims propelling this movement, and find out what the FACTS really are!

 

The JAKIM + JPM Petition To Lift COVID-19 Measures

There is a movement to petition JAKIM and JPM to lift measures that protect Muslims against COVID-19 infections.

Letter templates were prepared for Muslims to use to petition both JAKIM and JPM to lift these COVID-19 measures that they deem anti-Islamic and not based on scientific evidence :

  • physical distancing in prayer congregations
  • attendance limits for Friday prayers
  • prohibition of Friday prayers for certain age groups
  • ban on hand shaking, replaced with customs and rituals of the Jews and Christians
  • ban on breaking fast in surau
  • ban on eating together from food trays
  • strict SOP during prayers and other religious activities

 

Fact Checking The JAKIM / JPM Petition On COVID-19 Measures

Now, I will not be addressing the religious issues, which are best left to Islamic scholars.

Instead, I will address the scientific claims used in this petition to justify lifting protective measures for Muslims against COVID-19.

Fact #1 : COVID-19 Mortality Is High

The letter is correct that COVID-19 mortality is only 0.4% in Malaysia, and is much lower than other diseases.

However, that is only possible because of these protective measures keeping COVID-19 cases from overwhelming our hospitals and ICUs :

Without those measures, our mortality rate would be far, FAR higher than 0.4%.

The average mortality rate is 2.68%, as of 23 April 2021, with the highest mortality rate in countries with overloaded hospitals and ICUs :

  • Yemen : 19.2%
  • Mexico : 9.2%
  • Syria : 6.9%
  • Sudan : 6.8%
  • Egypt : 5.9%

To put that into perspective, if you have 1,000 Facebook friends, and just half of them get infected with COVID-19, at least 13 will die.

Inside a COVID-19 ICU. Photo Credit : China Daily Cdic / Reuters

Fact #2 : COVID-19 Survivors Do Not Always Heal Completely

The letter points out that over 90% of people with COVID-19 will recover. Again, that is only true in Malaysia’s current situation, because of measures mentioned above.

The rate of recovery will drop, if and when our hospitals and ICUs get overwhelmed. More people will definitely die.

Even those who survive may not recover completely. Those who recover in the ICU will require physical therapy, while those on ventilation could suffer lung damage.

Some survivors also suffer from post-COVID conditions, like Long COVID :

  • tiredness / fatigue
  • difficulty in thinking or concentrating
  • headache
  • loss of smell or taste
  • dizziness on standing
  • heart palpitations
  • chest pain
  • breathing difficulties
  • depression or anxiety

COVID-19 itself damages the lungs, and survivors have to live with the damage for the rest of their lives.

Photo Credit : Oxford University

Fact #3 : Mass Gatherings Cause COVID-19 Outbreaks

India offers a sad lesson on how dangerous mass gatherings are during this COVID-19 pandemic.

In March 2021, India allowed state assembly elections to proceed, with mass rallies in the states of Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Assam.

The state of Bengal saw a jump of 3,489% in COVID-19 cases in just 7 weeks, while Tamil Nadu saw a jump of 1,683% with triple the cases in Kerala.

Then India allowed the Kumbh Mela festival to take place in mid April 2021, where millions of devotees gathered to take a dip in the water of the Ganges river.

Within a few days, they detected over 1,000 COVID-19 cases out of just 50,000 samples taken during the festival.

Fact #4 : COVID-19 Kills Quickly When Hospitals Overwhelmed

There are only three ways to avoid dying from COVID-19 :

  • avoiding getting infected
  • getting vaccinated against COVID-19
  • getting good hospital care, with access to ICU and ventilator

Right now, public vaccination just kicked off, and vaccination rates are super low.

If the letter writer insists on lifting measures that prevent people from getting infected, then people must rely on hospitals to treat them when they get sick with COVID-19.

But look at what is happening RIGHT NOW in India, where their hospitals are overwhelmed with COVID-19 cases, and their ICUs full.

  • oxygen and medical supplies ran out
  • people queueing for days outside hospitals, trying to get treatment
  • people dying at home, because there are no hospital beds
  • crematoriums running 24/7 to keep up with the deluge of dead bodies

Take a look at this drone shot by Danish Siddiqui of Reuters, showing a mass cremation of COVID-19 victims in New Delhi, India on 22 April 2021.

Is this what you want happening in Malaysia?

 

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