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MOH’s self-sabotaging actions don’t make sense

Press Statement
22nd July 2021

MOH must explain why they reduced testings in June and stopped elected reps from offering subsidised screening

Malaysia recorded 199 deaths yesterday and the positive rate was as high as 12.51%. This is after 51 days of full MCO and 2 weeks of EMCO in most of the Klang Valley areas. Clearly, our nation is not on the right path to win the battle against COVID-19. So the question is, what have we done wrong?

Before our nation entered full MCO 3.0 on June 1, Health DG Dr Noor Hisham outlined five actions on May 30 that the Health Ministry would take during the two-week lockdown, including doing targeted screenings in the field using the Rapid Test Kit-Antigen (RTK-Ag) detection method for COVID-19.

However, we did not do more testing in June. In fact, we did less testing in June, even though the full lockdown was extended to 4 weeks.

In the month of May, 2,661,888 testing were conducted but in the month of June, only 2,491,232 screenings were recorded. Why was targeted mass testing not conducted as promised? The Ministry of Health owes us an answer.

Not only has the government failed to conduct mass testing, it also does not allow some of our elected representatives to conduct targeted mass testing.

In the same press conference on May 30, Dr Noor Hisham has urged the state government along with the members of parliament and assemblymen to help by carrying out targeted screening on the ground using the Antigen Rapid Test Kit (RTK-Ag).

However, that is not the reality on the ground.

The application of Parit Yaani State Assemblyman to conduct RTK-Antigen screening was rejected by Batu Pahat District Health Office on 9.6.2021.

In addition, the application of Yong Peng State Assemblywoman to conduct RTK-Antigen screening was then again rejected by Batu Pahat District Health Office on 1.7.2021.

MOH should explain to us why they failed to conduct more screening in the month of June, and why they stopped elected reps from offering free or subsidized screening for the public. Even though we see the number of screenings gradually increase in the month of July, we have already wasted one month. MoH needs to drastically increase its targeted testing and allow all elected reps to organize subsidized screening programs so that we can test at least 1%, that is approximately 300,000 tests a day as a contingency to deal with any further outbreaks in the future.

Teo Nie Ching
MP for Kulai

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