Appointing BM MP as Covid-19 coordinator will ease Penang’s situation – Guan Eng

Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin and Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow addressing the state’s Covid-19 situation at a press conference on Saturday.

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 12 – DAP Secretary-General And MP For Bagan Lim Guan Eng has commended the appointment of Bukit Mertajam MP Steven Sim as the Covid-19 coordinator between Penang and the federal government, saying it will help the state currently experiencing a serious shortage of resources and manpower.

The appointment was announced by Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin during a joint press conference with Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow on Saturday. Khairy said the appointment was made in the spirit of bipartisanship.

The DAP lawmaker will be coordinating all Covid-19 matters in Penang.

Guan Eng said the appointment of Steven Sim was necessary to find a joint collaborative effort to break the rise in COVID-19 infections that caused Penang to record amongst the highest infections, deaths, ICU beds and ventilator utilisation per capita in Malaysia.

“For too long, Penang has failed to contend with or match up to the rise in infections and deaths. Despite the frontliners doing a magnificent job but unable to cope against mounting public anger due to insufficient resources and manpower.

“Public dissatisfaction has also spilled over unfairly against the Penang state government and particularly the Penang State Health EXCO for being a helpless bystander when Penangites are suffering and dying without getting any help from the COVID-19 Assessment Centres(CAC), no answers to telephone hotlines, no ambulances arriving when called and insufficient number of ICU beds,” Guan Eng said in a statement today.

“The community spread of COVID-19 is critical particularly with the close density of Penangites living in a closeted environment. I wish to commend both the Health Minister and Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow for realising the gravity of the COVID-19 situation in Penang and accepting my suggestion to break this logjam by appointing Steven as the COVID-19 Coordinator that can allow us to jointly win this battle against COVID-19 together.”

Steven Sim outlined six areas he would like to focus on as the state-federal Covid-19 coordinator, namely to increase healthcare capacity; to reduce the response time for Covid-19 patients to get health services; more efficient risk assessment and enforcement especially at factories; to ensure a stable supply of vaccines to have 100 percent of Penang adults vaccinated next month; to ensure healthcare for those under home quarantine to reduce the number of brought in dead cases, and for more transparency in Penang’s daily Covid-19 statistics.