Diversify initiatives as vaccination alone will not solve Covid-19 dilemma, MP tells govt

Dr Kelvin Yii

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KUCHING, Aug 26: Don’t put all your eggs in one ‘vaccination’ basket, as immunisation alone cannot put an end to Malaysia’s Covid-19 pandemic.

Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii said the government should also implement effective intervention measures to control the outbreak, which is in line with the World Health Organisation (WHO) regional director Dr Takeshi Kasai’s statement that vaccination is not the only cure.

“When it comes to the government’s approach towards Covid-19, the current government must learn from the mistakes of the previous government and not do the same things over and over again, expecting a different outcome.

“This includes not just putting all eggs in the ‘vaccination’ basket,” he said.

On other intervention measures, Dr Yii said the government should look into investing and strengthening public health capacity to implement the Find-Test-Trace-Isolate-Support (FTTIS) strategy simultaneously with vaccination initiatives.

Due to lesser focus on FTTIS, he said Malaysia has recorded over 10 per cent Covid-19 positivity rate and exceeded the WHO-recommended five per cent for 36 consecutive days, meaning there is severe under-testing and widespread disease even with a commendable vaccination rate nationwide.

“That is why, Pakatan Harapan (PH) has suggested to the Prime Minister and the government to allocate a further RM4 billion immediately to protect the capacity of our healthcare services while building a reserve surge capacity for any upcoming waves,” he said in a statement today.

Dr Yii, who is also the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) on Health, Science and Innovation chairman, said strategic risk communication is vital too in preparing the public for the new norms by education and trust-building.

While it is important to find ways to reset or revive the economy as soon as possible, strong and comprehensive public health measures must also be well-built, he said.

Thus, he urged for a greater acknowledgment of the opposition’s input by the government to transform the country for the benefit of the people. — DayakDaily