Press Statement by Chong Chieng Jen:
It is really perplexing that more than a week after the State Government chartering a plane to fly the Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) to Sarawak, the hospitals throughout Sarawak are still short of PPE to protect their front-liners from infection.
The 50-ton PPE and medical supply arrived at Kuching on 9-4-2020 via a special chartered flight. The State Government spent RM1.7 million to charter the flight to fly the PPEs to Sarawak. When the cargo arrived on 9-4-2020, many GPS politicians went and took photos and even video to showcase the arrival.
Surely, the front liners and the medical staff breathed a breath of relief when they saw the cargo arriving at Kuching International Airport on 9-4-2020. However, despite the cargo having arrived at Kuching for many days, the hospitals in Sarawak are still compelled to seek for donation of PPE like the N95 masks and the isolation gowns. What happened to the cargo of PPE?
It is either that the cargo is grossly insufficient to meet the demand for the PPEs, in which case the cargo has been fully consumed within such short time or that the State Government is just too slow in the distribution of these PPE.
In either case, this is not acceptable as the front-liners are risking their lives to serve the community. The least that the government can do is to reduce their risks of infection by providing them with sufficient PPE for them to do their job. Any compromise of these front-liners’ safety due to the lack of proper planning or bureaucracy is negligence with the potential of causing death.
We are in our second month since the first case of covid-19 patient was confirmed in Sarawak. As early as 13-3-2020, the State Disaster Management Committee chairman has assured all Sarawakian that Sarawak is prepared to face any eventuality arising from covid-19. Yet a month later, the front-liners are still short of PPE to protect themselves while performing their duties.
I urge the State Government to act urgently to protect our dedicated front-liners.