What are we even doing differently this time to curb Covid-19? Bangi MP asks Dr Noor Hisham amid MCO 2.0

Yiswaree Palansamy
·3-min read
Bangi MP Ong Kian Ming said there are still several unanswered questions as most states enter the second week of the new movement control order. — Picture by Firdaus Latif
Bangi MP Ong Kian Ming said there are still several unanswered questions as most states enter the second week of the new movement control order. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 18 — DAP’s Bangi MP Ong Kian Ming today posed 10 questions to the Health Director-General (D-G) Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah on the policy taken by the government to handle the current wave of Covid-19.

Adding that though credit must be given to the latter’ leadership and frontliners’ sacrifice, there are still several unanswered questions as most states enter the second week of the new movement control order dubbed MCO 2.0.

“I hope that D-G Noor Hisham can provide convincing answers to the following 10 questions in order to assure the public that the government has a comprehensive plan to control this pandemic.

“What are we doing differently now compared to March 2020?” he asked in his statement.

“There is little indication that this government has learned from the experiences of the past nine months.

“Last minute standard operating procedures (SOPs) issued after the start of MCO 2.0, U-turns on which sectors can open e.g. the automotive manufacturing sector and optometrists and uncertainty over school re-opening are just some examples of the failure of this government to prepare for MCO 2.0,” he added.

“As the adage goes, ‘if we fail to plan, we plan to fail’,” Ong said.

Ong’s questions came as Malaysia reached a new national high of 4,029 Covid-19 cases on Saturday, after only beginning the first week of the second MCO, contrasting this against 235 Covid-19 cases on March 2, last year, during the first MCO.

He also questioned the total number of daily Covid-19 tests done by the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the daily percentage of positive cases.

Like many who had initially questioned on social media, Ong too asked to know the number of contact tracers used by the MOH, and the measures which have been put in place to address shortfalls in contact tracers.

“Can more accurate location information about Covid-19 cases be disclosed publicly? What transmission trends can be analysed based on MySejahtera data?”

“What is the capacity in terms of the number of beds available and the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) capacity by state?” he further questioned, also asking for details on transmission rates in schools last year, after it was closed, over Covid-19 outbreak concerns.

Ong also questioned the lodging situation for foreign workers in the security, manufacturing and construction industries.

“Without proper testing and accommodation policies for these foreign workers, it is less likely that Covid-19 infection rates can be controlled after the lifting of MCO 2.0,” he added.

The former deputy minister for international trade and industry also asked to know how the federal government has worked with state government to fight the outbreak, lamenting that there has been little coordiantion, “to join forces in the spirit of cooperation and solidarity. “

Ong added that former health minister, Datuk Seri Dzulkefly Ahmad, who is also the chair of the Selangor Taskforce on Covid-19 (STFC) has publicly called for more data sharing and cooperation with the MOH, but so far, his calls have gone unheeded.

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