Dr Yii urges SDMC to address fundamental health measures before shifting into endemic

Dr Kevin Yii (file photo)

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KUCHING, Sept 13: Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii urges the federal government and Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) to address the fundamental public health measures before shifting into full-endemic style of living.

He highlighted the importance to invest in the public health system while continue with the strategy to detect, test, trace, isolate and support by coming up with a comprehensive National Testing Plan which includes frequent testing at workplace, factories, schools and all social events.

Dr Yii believed that this is a more comprehensive and holistic approach rather than the plan to just test symptomatic individuals and stop testing the asymptomatic individuals.

“I reiterate my call for MoH and SDMC to be transparent with their plans and strategy with Covid-19 in Sarawak.

“Merely taking about ‘living with Covid-19’ is somewhat premature and does not instill confidence to public when cases are still so high.

“And more importantly, there has to be a clear policy on a booster shot especially for frontliners and high risk groups especially in view of the waning effectiveness of the vaccines over time, which we have seen in other countries,” he said in a press statement today.

Dr Yii hoped that the government will ensure that all the public health measures were in place before making the shift to full endemic style living.

He is concerned that if Sarawak shifted into endemic living too soon without preparing other health fundamentals, a new wave of Covid-19 among high-risk groups and those yet to be vaccinated including children could be triggered thus overwhelming the hospitals and even the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) capacity.

On the vaccination for those below 18 years old, he urges MoH and SDMC to expedite the process in order to protect the children in view of the current surge of the Delta variant cases in Sarawak.

He believed that the high contagious Delta variant of Covid-19 could leave children in Sarawak and those yet to be vaccinated vulnerable and exposed to the devastating effects.

“While I am glad that vaccination among adolescents has started in Sarawak, this has to be expedited even more to make sure more children get the needed protection as fast as possible.

“This will require constant high shipment of vaccine into Sarawak in view of high Delta infections and de-centralisation of PPVs (vaccination centres) for children to the different schools all around Sarawak.

“For convenience and to avoid congestion in specific PPVs, children should be allowed to be vaccinated in their own schools or such special PPVs should be opened in as many schools as possible.

“This makes it easier to track those children that are getting the vaccines based on school records including capturing those that have dropped out of school.

“If we can vaccinate all 12-17 years old as fast as this month, we then can have a total population coverage of 83.4 per cent as soon as possible then further plan to vaccinate those below 12 based on available data especially in view of re-opening of schools,” he added. — DayakDaily