Media Statement by YB Kelvin Yii:
The government should be transparent and even reveal number of Covid-19 positive cases and clusters in Sarawak not to instil fear or create panic, but to keep the public informed as well as serve as a reminder that we cannot take things for granted even during this Omicron wave.
One of the clusters they should be transparent and reveal is how many positive cases was detected from the recently concluded Citrawarna Keluarga Malaysia programme at Kuching Water Front.
We have seen a sharp increase of cases from about 400 case to 1300+, which is more than 50% increased in past few days, and it will set to increase, yet somehow there’s no cluster declared.
This means the public have no idea what kind of activities or location contributed to the increase, thus unable to make the informed decision to protect themselves or be serve a reminder to let our guards down in those locations or activities.
We cannot assume and merely treat Omicron as mild as it is still dangerous especially for the high risk groups including elderly and unvaccinated. We have seen increased in hospitalisation and also the death rate overall have increased in our country including those that are being brought in dead(BID)
Such deaths have risen to consistent double-digits since mid-February, hitting a peak of 22 on Feb 18.
The Ministry of Health(MOH) has conducted an analysis of the BID from Feb 5 to 21 that shows that 91 percent of them (103 cases) did not know they had Covid-19. They only tested positive during the post-mortem after they had passed away.
The concern of such statistics is many are even unaware that they are sick and many are also unaware they could have brought the virus back homes to any high risk groups at home from the different locations or activities that they were at.
That is why greater transparency when it comes to cluster declaration is important so public can make informed choice and also serve as a reminder that we should not take this virus lightly even as we open the economy and borders progressively.
We may not have peaked yet in numbers, as trends of Omicron wave around the world has shown a vertical increase of cases which we have yet to see here in Sarawak or even in Malaysia. This of course could be due to several factors including the lack of testing where the positive rate in Malaysia is around 14-15%, 3 times higher than the WHO recommendation.
That is why i suggest 5 main things that all of us including the government must do in order to ensure public have a clearer picture of the Covid-19 situation in our country.
(1) Government must ensure adequate self-testing kits in market and ensure the prices do not increase when there is an increase in demand due to lack of stock.
(2) Government must find ways to encourage and incentivise public to report their RTK self-test results on MySejahtera to ensure the get the accurate a better picture of cases in the different locations.
(3) Government must avoid or postpone any activities or events where SOP compliance is hard to control or enforced, risking it to be a super-spreader event.
(4) Public must monitor the elderly and high risk groups and bring them for medical attention as soon as they display any Covid-19 symptoms.
(5) Get boosted and increase our efforts to vaccinate the unvaccinated to ensure they are protected.
While i believe in the need to transition into endemicity, but it should not come at the cost of lives that could be prevented. We are not there yet, and we must not be reckless. That is why the fundamental of transparency is still important to build trust between the government and people as we tackle this pandemic and open the economy safely and sustainably.
Kelvin Yii Lee Wuen
MP Bandar Kuching