Masing: Sarawak should discourage asymptomatic individuals from getting Covid-19 swab tests

Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing

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KUCHING, Sept 4: Sarawak should discourage asymptomatic individuals from getting swab tested for Covid-19, says Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing.

With most of the people vaccinated now, he said, the severity of the symptoms affecting those who test positive for the virus has significantly dropped, but fear of deadly consequences from contracting Covid-19 is still rooted in the general public’s minds.

He said 99 per cent of Sarawak’s daily Covid-19 caseloads consist of patients from Categories 1 and 2, which are those with none or mild symptoms, but people only see the high numbers and not the severity percentage.

“We, in Malaysia, have an unfounded fear of Covid-19 (even) after the discovery of vaccines. We still think of the dangers posed by Covid-19 during the pre-vaccination era.

“That fear is deeply embedded in our minds, for example, Covid-19 positive means death. This is further worsened by the way we highlight the number of people infected with Covid-19 without telling the severity of the infection.

“We should discourage asymptomatic people from getting swabbed,” he said in a statement today.

Masing, who is also Minister of Infrastructure and Ports Development, said getting Covid-19 after completing the vaccination is equivalent to catching a common cold, in which the person will recover following a few days’ rest.

Believing that vaccines are indeed effective in protecting the people against the coronavirus, he urged everyone to “stop being overly fearful or paranoid” about Covid-19.

Of course, he added, this does not mean standard operating procedures (SOP) can be ignored, but normalcy must be returned to the people in due time when 80 per cent of Sarawak’s population has been vaccinated.

“Let’s learn to live with Covid-19 intelligently,” said Masing. — DayakDaily