Dr Yii: Ramp up testing and vaccination after holiday break

Dr Kevin Yii

KUCHING, May 15: Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii has called on the government to ramp up both the rate of testing and vaccination to properly control the spread of Covid-19 and prepare an exit strategy after the implementation of the current Movement Control Order (MCO) in West Malaysia and the enhanced Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) in Sarawak and Sabah.

Dr Yii in a statement today said that based on statistics released, there was a huge drop in nationwide testing on the first day of Raya from 87,458 the day before to 83,974 people tested on Day 1 (May 13), and a further reduction to 56,440 people on Day 2 (May 14).

According to him, the positive rate on Day 1 stands at 5.78 per cent and rises on Day 2 to 7.32 per cent, which is above the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommendations of below 5 per cent.

He pointed out that this clearly shows that there is not enough testing, which means that the daily numbers may not clearly reflect the real situation on the ground.

“For example, based on data released by the State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC), the positive rate on May 14, is 23.43 per cent which is almost five times the recommended rate.

“Such trends are not new and has been observed for the past few weeks and such inadequate testing has lead to surge of severe severe coronavirus cases nationwide, amid full or near-capacity Covid-19 intensive care units (ICU) across the Klang Valley, Kelantan, Sarawak, Johor, and Penang, and also contribute to the high numbers of mortality over the past days.

“If we do not ramp up our testing and tracing significantly, we will not know how many carriers out there who can spread the virus, and the longer we take to isolate them, the higher the amount of people they can spread it to,” he said.

“The government should mass test all residents to enable early detection and treatment of cases, rather than late detection that leads to overcapacity of hospitals’ ICU and a spike in Covid-19 deaths. On top of that, what is also concerning is how vaccination rate drastically dropped during the Raya Celebrations,” he explained.

Dr Yii noted it is understandable that the frontliners need some rest over the festivities, but it is also important the government strategise and mobilise other workforce to fill in the gap as the virus does not rest over the festivities.

“Now that the Raya celebrations are over, there is no excuse for the country to go into full force to increase the vaccination drive.

“That is why I urge the government to get these main two priorities right, increase our testing and vaccination rate especially now that Raya is over. If we do not get this right, we might end up heavily relying on a lockdown strategy that not only does not solve the problem, but has a heavy cost on the livelihood of the people,” he said. — DayakDaily