Tiong urges federal govt to tackle Covid-19 pandemic with greater urgency

Dato Sri Tiong King Sing

KUCHING, March 15: The new Federal Cabinet must tackle the Covid-19 pandemic with greater urgency, professionalism and transparency, says Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) president Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing.

“I wish to remind all Cabinet ministers of the newly formed federal government to ramp up containment actions for the pandemic. They must prove their sincerity and ability now to serve the people and take concrete and immediate actions to protect the health and lives of the people,” according to Tiong in a statement today.

He also urged Ministry of Health (MoH) director-general (DG) Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah to urgently ramp up healthcare measures to contain the Covid-19 coronavirus from spreading further.

Tiong asserted healthcare workers need to be adequately equipped with the right equipment, polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE)-grade medical protective clothing and a proper mindset to combat this pandemic and safeguard the people.

“As the number of cases continue to rise to 428 with 190 new cases today alone, Noor Hisham needs to assure the public of their safety and health with a greater sense of proactive measures against the pandemic. Thus far, there is a general consensus that MoH has been more reactionary rather than proactive in containing the pandemic,” he opined.

The Bintulu MP reiterated that medical personnel at entry points of the country including airports, bus depots, and passenger ports need to conduct strict vetting of people entering the country, especially from countries with confirmed and suspected cases.

“Additionally, our public places including offices, shopping malls, and public services are still sorely lacking vetting measures including temperature checks and mandatory hand sanitising. These are commonly seen in most other countries but is sadly still neglected here.

“I also urge the healthcare authorities working under Noor Hisham to be more adequately equipped with additional protective clothing that meets specifications. There must be strict protective facilities for our healthcare professionals on the frontline of combating the pandemic on our shores to ensure they do not also fall victim to the coronavirus.”

He also urged medical staff and personnel to treat the Covid-19 outbreak seriously.

Tiong called for more public transparency concerning the confirmed Covid-19 cases among those who attended the Sri Petaling Mosque religious rally.

“What the public would want to know are the possible routes of transmissions, the relationships between the individual cases and the areas the victims had visited.

“Although the number from the mosque rally is sizable, the number of people who have come forward to be tested does not even reach half of that. It is reasonable to expect that the number of people at risk of infection is unknown.”

Tiong noted that information on cases communicated by the government needs to be more accurate, prompt and transparent, given the people’s right to be aware of the latest developments. — DayakDaily