By S. Harrish
THE Selangor government’s efforts to battle the Covid-10 spread has been hampered after the Health Ministry allegedly stopped sharing crucial data on positive cases in the state.
Sources told Malaysiakini that since the first week of October, the Selangor Task Force for Covid-19 (STFC) no longer received granular data from the Health Ministry and this has affected its efforts to contain the outbreak.
Those efforts include shutting down premises where outbreaks have been detected, carrying out contact tracing and providing free tests for high-risk areas.
Confirming this, STFC chairperson Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad said the decision to halt data-sharing at a time when cases in Selangor were rising was greatly hurting the state government’s efforts to fight Covid-19.
“You asked us to box in the ring, but you blindfold us. That is how we feel now,” he said when contacted.
“We need the granularity of the details on the ground for us to do targeted testing, among others.
“Data is important because this is what we call data-driven mass testing. The more granular, and the richer we are data-wise, the more accurate our analytics and action planning would be,” said Dzulkefly, who was the health minister during the Pakatan Harapan administration.
Another source at STFC told Malaysiakini that the task force is now given only “two to three” data variables out of about 43 that the federal ministry has on patients.
The source added that Selangor now relies on Health Ministry director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah’s daily press briefings for data.
Malaysiakini is now awaiting a response from the Ministry over the issue.
Selangor has the second-highest number of Covid-19 cases in the country with 3,250, behind Sabah which has so far recorded a total of 7,439 cases.
Five of Selangor’s nine districts have been declared as red zones by the Health Ministry, with Petaling the worst hit with 342 cases, followed by Klang (162).