Bintulu MP takes potshots at Health DG over alleged lack of national blueprint to fight Covid-19

Tiong speaking to reporters during a recent visit to meet with frontliners. Photo supplied.

Follow and subscribe to DayakDaily on Telegram for faster news updates.

KUCHING, Jan 31: Bintulu MP Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing expressed disappointment over the Ministry of Health (MOH)’s alleged absence of a targeted and comprehensive blueprint to contain Covid-19, claiming anti-pandemic efforts in affected areas have been hampered by the federal Health Department’s red tape.

According to Tiong in a press statement today, what is needed now from MOH director-general (Health DG) Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah is a comprehensive overall nationwide policy to curb the pandemic, instead blaming Malaysians for not adhering to standard operating procedures (SOPs).

“Only effective measures with scientific and technological assistance, and all round cooperation can truly win this war against Covid-19, and what all Malaysians care about now is how the government can turn the tide against the alarming new daily high of confirmed cases, which reflects the folly of early decision-making errors,” he opined.

Tiong noted previously, he had stated that the manufacturing and construction sectors are major loopholes in outbreak prevention and it is due time to clamp down hard on these places and carry out strict inspections against them.

“Therefore, I want to ask again, where is the vast funding allocated to the Health Department being spent on? We do not see it being used smartly nor effectively, and why is there no extensive testing among construction and factory workers?” he claimed.

Tiong said during his frequent visits to the frontliners, he was disappointed to see the frontliners are beyond exhausted, while the Health DG seems to be out of the picture.

“As one of the decision-makers, why does the Health DG seem unwilling to learn from the lessons from outbreaks in specific sites and not immediately implement localised lockdowns and conducting mass screenings?” he asked.

Citing Bintulu as an example, Tiong asserted mass screenings were insisted on in the district early on but rebuffed by the Health Department and claimed the department had no intention of supporting it.

Fortunately, he continued, the insistence on using lockdowns worked, and it was only when a confirmed case was found through mass screenings, that the transmission was able to be curbed before it got out of control.

He claimed although strict lockdowns have made some groups unhappy, they have changed their minds after seeing the effectiveness of this strategy and the efforts of the medical personnel involved.

“The consequence of not doing damage control early is the near collapse of our medical system now. Many medical and enforcement personnel have caught the coronavirus, and an unacceptable number have lost their lives, including in Bintulu.

“Many doctors and nurses are fighting for their lives. The need to isolate them has caused even greater burden on our communities. It is high time for the Health DG Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham to climb down from his ivory tower to lead from the ground, instead of continuing to cling to his personal fame and glory,” he added. — DayakDaily