Malaysia in danger of perpetual MCOs, says expert

22-Jan-2021 Intellasia | TodayOnline | 6:02 AM Print This Post

Malaysia is in danger of having perpetual movement-control orders (MCOs) if the government doesn’t get its Covid-19 strategies right, said Dr Musa Mohd Nordin.”We are not finding the hotspots and not doing enough mass testing with rapid tests,” said Dr Musa during an online forum on Jom Channel on Wednesday (January 20).And if the government cannot get the FTTIIS right, it will constantly be having MCOs, said the consultant doctor from KPJ Damansara Specialist Hospital.FTTIIS is the acronym for Find, Test, Trace, Isolate and Support System for combatting virus pandemics.Dr Musa said polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests which the health ministry insists on are too slow.”Although less accurate, rapid test kits (RTK) can provide results within an hour compared to the PCR tests. Once a person knows the result, they can be isolated immediately if they are in Stage 1 or 2.

“Furthermore, the ministry can begin contact tracing on the second day itself.”PCR tests are expensive, require laboratories and only provide results in three days. By this time, the person may have already started to infect others. This is a flawed methodology that unless recognised, Malaysia is in trouble,” said Dr Musa.But he said the ministry appears less keen to test now than before.”This is dangerous as one superspreader can spread to hundreds like Case 126 last year compared with 80 per cent who don’t infect anyone.”Dr Musa was speaking at a forum together with economist Dr Muhammed Abdul Khalid on Covid-19 and the economic impact of MCO. The session was moderated by Dr Abu Hafiz Salleh Hudin.He said the Malaysian government must also cap the price of antigens so that the cost for testing is more affordable.

“The World Health Organization supplies them to us at $5 each (S$6.63) but some places are charging RM280 (S$91.75) for tests,” said Dr Musa.He said the government should also cap the price of vaccines so that they are assessable to the public and can be obtained from private hospitals and clinics.”The faster people get vaccinated, the faster herd immunity can be achieved.”On another note, Dr Musa said it doesn’t make sense for the government to declare a state of emergency so that it can co-opt private hospitals into helping them cope with Covid-19 patients.”The government hospitals have been doing a good job with treating Covid-19 patients so far. To rope in private hospitals and transfer their patients to them would only expose more private hospitals to Covid-19.”The government should designate more government hospitals as Covid-19 hospitals and transfer their non-virus cases to the private hospitals.” THE MALAYSIAN INSIGHT


Category: Malaysia

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