Malaysia Bagus News
Malaysia Bagus News
KOTA KINABALU: Former Sabah health minister Frankie Poon has taken the state government to task for the soaring number of Covid-19 cases during the past month, which have also caused record high deaths.
While non-adherence to SOPs by the community has contributed to the surge, he said the state authorities are mainly to blame, through the policies they implemented or lack of it.
First, he said, the state government and health authorities were using backlog test samples as an excuse to justify the high number of cases.
“Sabah Covid-19 spokesman Masidi Manjun admitted recently that the increase in the Covid-19 statistics was due to the backlog.
“When this happens, the public will not trust or believe in the figures given by the government. They will get confused and will choose to ignore the numbers,” he told reporter.
Poon stressed that the statistics should be based on real-time numbers.
“With information technology at our disposal, there is no reason for such delays. When the public starts ignoring the statistics, that is the beginning of our problems,” he said.
On Friday, Masidi attributed the high daily infections to backlogged test samples, with most of them only registered two to five days after the test results were obtained.
A total of 48,410 new infections were recorded between July 30 – when cases first breached the 1,000 mark – and Aug 25. The cumulative cases as of Aug 25 stood at 131,030, with 33,051 still active.
The overall number of Covid-19 deaths in Sabah stands at 975, with 342 this month alone, including 125 brought-in-dead (BID). In comparison, there were 89 deaths in July, with 23 BID cases.
Poon also criticised the lack of crowd control at the mega vaccination centres (PPVs) which are allowing walk-in vaccination.
He said physical distancing was not practised and the authorities are “not practising what they preach”.
“They did not have the necessary measures to prevent infections happening at the PPVs,” he said.
He also said the state should have kept all government services open instead of closing them.
“Generally, everyone likes to update their payments at the government counters. For example, the closing and opening of renewal services for vehicle licences led to massive crowds at the payment counters.
“The key should have been in scheduling appointments and limiting the number of people daily,” he said.
Poon also criticised the decision to replace Sabah health director Dr Christina Rundi at the height of the pandemic.
“Changing the captain midway through a battle shouldn’t have happened. The state government was too weak when dealing with the federal authorities,” he said, noting that Rundi’s transfer should have been resisted until the situation improved.
On vaccine supply, he said the state government should have acted swiftly to procure stocks from the peninsula when it was first allowed to do so.
“Look at our vaccination rate, it is the lowest in Malaysia,” he said.
As of Aug 24, only 32.5% of Sabah’s adult population have been fully vaccinated, and 53.9% received their first dose.
Other opposition leaders had previously slammed the state government for its poor handling of the pandemic.
Warisan deputy president Darell Leiking had warned that the low vaccination rate and worsening daily infections could eventually make Sabah the worst-hit state in the country.
He also said this could possibly lead to Sabah overtaking Selangor in terms of the number of deaths.
Former deputy chief minister Christina Liew also expressed alarm over the surge in the number of infections and said the state government appeared “to be silent” amid growing public concern over the crisis.
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