Malaysia Bagus News
Malaysia Bagus News
PETALING JAYA: Former deputy health minister Dr Lee Boon Chye has asked Putrajaya if Malaysia is losing the battle against the Covid-19 pandemic, after the surge in cases and clusters and the delay in taking confirmed cases to hospitals.
“There seems to be a lack of direction (by the health ministry). We are not clear on what they intend to do to keep the numbers low. Have they given up the fight?” he said.
Lee told reporters that even confirmed cases were being isolated at home, adding that there was a 70% chance of family members being infected.
He predicted that new cases may rise to 3,000 daily in two weeks’ time.
Yesterday, health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah had warned that the Covid-19 situation was going to become worse after a record 2,593 new cases and 13 clusters were reported.
Lee, who is also the Gopeng MP, said healthcare workers and hospitals were unable to cope with the increasing number of confirmed cases.
“Has the ministry given up on contact tracing? I am told by medical staff that contact tracing was not done because there is insufficient manpower,” he said.
On the new clusters, he said they did not appear out of the blue, but because of the failure to carry out immediate contact tracing.
“They must have an index case,” he said, adding that the original case was from Lahad Datu, Sabah, which had since spread throughout the state and to the peninsula.
Lee urged the ministry to separate healthy foreign workers from those who were unwell. “For those who are certified healthy, the risk of complications is low. Why admit them to low-risk centres and burden the frontliners?”
‘Hire jobless Malaysians to do contact tracing’
He said the ministry needed to strengthen contract tracing procedures, with testing done within 48 hours, which could be done by hiring 10,000 youths on a short-term basis.
“There are so many jobless graduates, contract healthcare staff and medical, nursing and pharmacy graduates,” he said.
The ministry, Lee said, needed to create a national network with contact tracing teams having access to all village heads and other communities to carry out immediate contact tracing.
He also hoped that more localities would be placed under the targeted enhanced movement control order (TEMCO). “They cannot carry out an EMCO without stating how long it will be held. It creates anxiety.”
He suggested that large-scale testing be carried out for two weeks in a particular area to stop the spread of infections. The number of cases would drop drastically, and the government would then be able to implement recovery MCO in the said area.
Lee said Putrajaya should not depend on the Covid-19 vaccine to reduce the number of cases as they may have skyrocketed by then.
He said it was impossible to vaccinate a large population as it would be carried out on a voluntary basis, with pregnant women and those below 16 excluded. “And no one knows what the side effects are.”
Once Malaysia receives the vaccines, he said, the government should immediately vaccinate healthcare workers, enforcement officers such as those in the police and fire department, prison wardens and teachers for free.
“Those above 65 years and with pre-existing medical conditions should also be provided with free vaccination but on a voluntary basis,” he said.
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