Tiong chides Health DG for “disappointing” statements on pandemic management

Dato Sri Tiong King Sing

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KUCHING, Aug 16: Bintulu MP Dato Sri Tiong King Sing has opined Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah’s statement yesterday saying that he believed a total lockdown must be short-term, precise and strict to suppress the pandemic akin to the Movement Control Order (MCO) 1.0 in 2020 as an example, is a disappointment.

According to Tiong, in a statement today, in these extraordinary circumstances, Dr Noor Hisham can stop repeating these tired old clichéd news statements.

“If the MCO 1.0 implemented last year really did work, why did the situation degrade into the disaster we see today? What kind of advice was he spewing out in their internal meetings in response against the pandemic throughout the time? Only he would know for sure,” he said.

Tiong added, the slow rollout of the vaccines, has also resulted in the individual states to purchase their own stock of vaccines but were hamstrung waiting for handouts from the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA) under the Ministry of Health (MOH).

However he noted, the World Health Organisation (WHO) had expeditiously approved the use of several brands of vaccines.

“Why couldn’t our country go in line with the WHO’s recommendations, simplify the red tape, and speed up the national vaccine rollout? Does NPRA have a higher reputation over WHO?,” asked Tiong.

On the same note, Tiong also pointed out that the Health DG continues to disappoint and puzzle everyone, and there are more than 20,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19 daily and the people are in dire straits.

“Everyday we open the newspapers and smartphones to read that someone has lost their loved ones. Friends, entire families have died and children orphaned. People can’t get hospital beds and medical staff are working to total exhaustion.

“The most urgent task is to quickly use science as the standard and take efficient management as the counter measure to reduce the death rate in this pandemic. Why is (Dr) Noor Hisham still showing up day after day giving useless forecasts and tired predictions? Stop embarrassing this country,” he said.

Tiong opined that the numerous missteps in this pandemic response can be attributed directly to the home surveillance policy advised by Dr Noor Hisham.

“Can (Dr) Noor Hisham reveal how many medical officers have perished due to their fight against the pandemic? Are these deaths not enough to rouse his attention?

“We can confirm that home quarantine is the main loophole exploited by people. Why did he make such a suggestion? It became absurd the moment when some patients can only get medical consultation over the phone. What kind of operation is this?,” he further queried.

Tiong stressed even the most basic conditions and equipment for the frontliners to fight the pandemic have not been adequately provided by the Health Department, much less the complete medical supplies.

“Funding is not in question but how has the Department use its resources to provide for frontline medical workers? What people want to know urgently is the exact blueprint to fight the pandemic, with key performance index (KPIs) and key objectives.

“We want a sound and effective pandemic response, not aimless rhetoric that amounts to nothing,” he said.

At the same time, Tiong is also baffled by Dr Noor Hisham’s act of repeatedly hogging media space, creating discussions for himself, having such a presence online.

“Is (Dr) Noor Hisham trying to pave the way to entering politics? Or is he just fantasising about being an influencer? The DG’s speeches look the same after a while, just a few tweaks here and there. But we should remember that he is a surgeon, not the expert in this response.

“Don’t use people’s lives as your stepping stone to publicity or stardom. You know the daily death numbers. Stop playing around with data and do something about the pandemic,” he said. — DayakDaily