KUALA LUMPUR, July 15 – There needs to be more honest accounting of what is happening with the Covid-19 pandemic situation in the country, says DAP veteran and Member Parliament of Iskandar Puteri, Lim Kit Siang.
In a statement today, he said the announcement of Deputy Prime Minister, Ismail Sabri Yaakob on Wednesday that the entire country is expected to move into Phase 2 of the National Recovery Plan in early August was a shock.
The announcement was based on the performance of the National Covid-19 Immunisation Program (NIP) where individuals who completed two doses of vaccine had exceeded the 10 percent threshold set for the country but how can this be, Kit Siang questioned.
Under the National Recovery Plan announced by the Prime Minister on June 15, the transition from Phase 1 to Phase 2 will happen only under the conditions that the number of daily Covid-19 cases drop to below 4,000, bed usage in intensive care units (ICU) is at moderate level and 10 percent of the population have received two doses of vaccine.
However, the numbers are expected to go up, Kit Siang said, quoting a virologist in Universiti Sains Malaysia who had warned that the daily Covid-19 infections could rise to nearly 20,000 a day within the next two weeks, given the number of cases caused by more infectious Delta variant.
On Thursday, the country recorded 13,215 new cases.
Health director-general Noor Hisham Abdullah also expects Covid-19 cases to continue increasing over the next fortnight before stabilising, because of variants of concern, such as the Delta strain, which had been wreaking havoc in the Klang Valley, Kit Siang said.
He also raised concerns about intensive care units (ICU) beds, reportedly an issue with some hospitals that are running out of the facility.
“How can the whole country under the National Recovery Plan enter Phase 2 in August when the daily Covd-19 caseload will be more than treble or quadruple the first threshold of less than 4,000 cases daily and the Klang Valley hospitals are on breaking-point in ICU usage?”
The government needs to paint the real picture and account for what is really happening, he said.
On another note, Kit Sing also urged Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyddin Yassin, to call off the police investigation of healthcare workers in particular those who had supported the campaign for the plight of contract doctors in government service.
The Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) President, Dr. Subramaniam Muniandy have received complaints from doctors involved in the Code Black and Black Monday campaigns that they are being investigated by the police, and are afraid and traumatised by the investigations.
The government should not turn a public health issue into a national security issue, he said.