As Covid-19 cases soar, Kit Siang says its time to overhaul strategy

Lim Kit Siang – Malaysaikini photo

THE government needs to quickly restore public trust and confidence in its management of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has seen the country’s infection rise rapidly over the past two-and-a-half months, DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang said.

He also called on PM Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin to appraise the current situation and consider a strategy overhaul to bring back public confidence, trust and support.

“The question is what is being done to ensure that there is now an “all-of-government” and “whole-of-society” strategy and approach in the war against the Covid-19 pandemic to restore public confidence, trust and support for the war against the Covid-19 pandemic,” Lim said in a statement today.

The Iskandar Puteri MP said he supported the call by Health Director-General Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah for a major improvement in Covid-19 screening, so it could reach its potential maximum capacity of 76,805 tests a day.

He said the weaknesses in the system should have been rectified many months ago.

Lim also expressed concerns over Dr Noor Hisham’s revelation that laboratories run by the military, universities and private entities were testing Covid-19 cases well below their capacities, while government ones were running at almost full capacity.

Dr Noor Hisham had proposed these laboratories hire more staff, redesign internal processes and improve data integration, so they can process Covid-19 samples more quickly.

He added if these facilities stepped up, Malaysia would be able to test closer to 76,805 tests per day – the daily maximum testing capacity.

Lim said given the current weaknesses, the public needed to be assured that Malaysia “does not repeat the chaos of national vaccination roll-outs experienced by other countries”.

He added that on November 18 last year, Malaysia was ranked 85 in number of Covid-19 cases, but has since “set a world record” when it jumped 36 places in two-and-a-half months to be ranked 49.

“I had expected Malaysia to be ranked among the top 50 countries with the most cumulative total of Covid-19 cases before the Chinese New Year, but we have achieved this dubious feat a week earlier,” he added.