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KUCHING, Jan 12: Bintulu MP Dato Sri Tiong King Sing is questioning whether the Ministry of Health’s (MOH) current strategy is effective in preventing an Omicron wave as Malaysia enters the third year of its fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.
Tiong claimed that a friend of his who tested positive for Covid-19 was simply told by MOH to self-isolate and do regular self-tests at home without even being given a tracker bracelet, and only to contact the health authority if his condition worsens.
“This is nothing less than leaving the confirmed patients to their own devices. Is this what you call a successful pandemic prevention strategy? What happens if a patient refuses to stay put and goes out in public?” he asked in a statement today.
Dissatisfied with how the MOH has handled the Covid-19 pandemic, Tiong pointed out that a total of 31,696 people have died out of Malaysia’s population of 32 million since the pandemic began in 2020.
“This high mortality rate is not something we can deny, give excuses for, or normalise. How can we continue on like this? How many more lives must be sacrificed before our ministers really start to prevent more deaths?” he questioned.
He also hit back at Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin’s remarks as resorting to defending shoe-polishers when the latter said that Malaysia could not afford any more lockdowns and zero-tolerance strategies.
The Prime Minister’s Special Envoy to China said he did not urge Malaysia to imitate China’s lockdown strategies as he agreed it was not viable. He said that he was merely urging MOH to at least communicate with China to adopt appropriate and effective portions of their strategy to reduce the Covid-19 mortality rates in Malaysia.
“Why the disproportionate reaction to China?” he asked.
With Malaysia having been through so many lockdowns in the past two years but only to see a surge in cases, he claimed that many other ministers had also questioned the Health Ministry director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah’s strategies in preventing and controlling Covid-19 infections.
He cited the federal government’s pandemic response when Selangor was hit with a huge number of cases brought by cluster outbreaks at glove factories in 2020.
“How many people in Selangor lost their lives due to these kinds of oversight? Even during the times when home quarantine policy was being implemented, how many people died due to not receiving timely treatment during their quarantine?”
Tiong also urged MOH to disclose the total number of vaccine doses purchased since Khairy took office, its total cost and the price of each vial of vaccine. — DayakDaily