Dr Yii urges govt to conduct mass screening tests to break chain of infection

Medical personnel working around the clock to sort and collect Covid-19 test samples in this file photo.

By Adrian Lim

KUCHING, Aug 11: Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii is urging the Health Ministry and State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) to conduct mass screening tests for Covid-19 as a measure to contain and break the Covid-19 chain of infection.

He pointed out that the measure is pertinent, especially with the emergence of the Delta variant which has caused a surge of positive cases in Sarawak recently.


“Yesterday (Aug 10), the positive rate in Sarawak is 16.2 per cent and the day before that, it was 12.7 per cent.

“The average positive rate for the past week is at 13.4 per cent, which is more than double the recommended rate by the World Health Organisation (WHO) of 5 per cent.

“If we are not testing enough, we will not isolate fast enough, and the disease will continue to spread in the community.

“That is why a severe shortage of tests will contribute to the increase in the number of undetected cases in the community,” he said in a statement today.

Dr Yii urged the government to come up with a National Testing Plan which include large scale implementation of the Find, Test, Trace, Isolate and Support (FTTIS) methodology to contain the coronavirus, and reduce the positive rate to below 5 per cent as proposed in the National Recovery Plan.

He opined that the mass screening exercise should include all stakeholders including private hospitals, private clinics, factories, workplaces and individuals self-testing rather than just the Health Ministry alone.

Dr Yii, who is a member of the Democratic Action Party (DAP), also proposed for the government to provide subsidies for the purchase of self-testing kits for Covid-19 and make it affordable and accessible for the public.

“That is why I urge both the federal and state government to ramp up testing here in Sarawak on top of the ongoing vaccination programme to properly control the spread of the disease in the State and protect those in high risk groups in the State,” he pointed out. — DayakDaily