By Ashley Sim
KUCHING, March 3: Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii is urging the government to be more transparent in revealing the number of Covid-19 cases and clusters in Sarawak.
He also urged the government to reveal how many positive cases have been detected from the recent Citrawarna Keluarga Malaysia event at Kuching Waterfront.
Dr Yii noted that the number of cases in the State has shown a sharp increase from approximately 400 to over 1,300 cases in the last few days, which is a more than 50 per cent increase, with the increase expected to continue, yet no new cluster has been declared.
“This means the public has no idea what kind of activities or location contributed to the increase, thus are unable to make the informed decision to protect themselves or serve as a reminder to let our guards down in those locations or activities.
“We cannot assume and merely treat Omicron as mild as it is still dangerous especially for the high risk groups including the elderly and unvaccinated. We have seen an increase in hospitalisation and also the death rate overall has increased in our country including those that are being brought-in-dead (BID),” he said in a statement today.
He highlighted that the Ministry of Health (MOH) conducted an analysis of the BID from February 5 to 21, which revealed that 91 per cent of them (103 cases) were unaware they had Covid-19. Dr Yii believed that many people are unaware they are sick and may have brought the virus home from various locations or activities.
“That is why greater transparency when it comes to cluster declaration is important so the public can make informed choices and also serve as a reminder that we should not take this virus lightly even as we open the economy and borders progressively,” he asserted.
He proposed five major actions that the public, including the government, should take to ensure that the public has a more complete picture of the country’s Covid-19 situation.
Firstly, he said, the government must ensure an adequate supply of self-testing kits in the market and ensure the prices do not increase when there is an increase in demand due to lack of stock.
Secondly, the government must find ways to encourage and incentivise the public to report their RTK self-test results on MySejahtera to ensure the government is able to obtain an accurate and better picture of cases in the different locations.
Thirdly, the Bandar Kuching MP called on the government to avoid or postpone any activities or events where standard operating procedure (SOP) compliance is hard to control or enforce, which puts those events at risk of becoming super-spreader events.
Fourthly, he urged the public to monitor the elderly and high risk groups and bring them for medical attention as soon as they display any Covid-19 symptoms.
Fifthly, Dr Yii called on the public to get boosted and for efforts to vaccinate the unvaccinated to intensify to ensure they are also protected.
“While I believe in the need to transition into endemicity, it should not come at the cost of lives that could be prevented.
“We are not there yet, and we must not be reckless. That is why the fundamentals of transparency are still important to build trust between the government and people as we tackle this pandemic and open the economy safely and sustainably,” Dr Yii elaborated. — DayakDaily