Ex-health minister says key to winning against Covid-19 is to be proactive, not reactive

Shahrin Aizat Noorshahrizam
·1-min read
Datuk Seri Dzulkefly Ahmad said it was critical to get ahead of Covid-19 if Malaysia is to have a chance of containing it and must deploy assets and resources in this direction. ― Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Datuk Seri Dzulkefly Ahmad said it was critical to get ahead of Covid-19 if Malaysia is to have a chance of containing it and must deploy assets and resources in this direction. ― Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 28 — Former health minister Datuk Seri Dzulkefly Ahmad said the Health Ministry must aggressively prioritise testing and quarantine measures in order to effectively contain Covid-19 in Malaysia.

He said it was critical to get ahead of Covid-19 if Malaysia is to have a chance of containing it and must deploy assets and resources in this direction.

“As long as we choose to practise a ‘catch-up’ approach, it is not enough. We must go beyond (the spread of the virus),” he said in an online forum hosted by Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and former deputy prime minister Datuk Seri Wan Azizah Wan Ibrahim.

He also questioned the government’s political will in combating Covid-19, citing Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham who suggested that the movement control order (MCO) might not go beyond February 4.

“So if all of sudden D-G said that it (MCO) does not have to be continued, what about the Emergency?

“If that (MCO) is unnecessary, the other (Emergency) is more unnecessary,” he said.

The government put Malaysia under an Emergency until August 1, citing the pandemic.

Tonight, Anwar also questioned how authorities were deciding whether to keep or lift the MCO.

“I’m not saying that I support the MCO but it (the decision) needs to be based on science, numbers and data,” Anwar said.

Today, the Health Ministry reported 4,094 new Covid-19 infections or 1,109 more cases than when the renewed MCO began on January 13.

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