Kuching MP: Sabah in urgent need of strong leadership
Published on: Friday, October 16, 2020
By: Malay Mail
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DAP’s Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii the state’s public health care system appears to be facing a real risk of being overrun with Covid-19 patients. — Picture by Hari Anggara
KUCHING: DAP’s Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii on Thursday said Sabah is in urgent need of strong political leadership to fight Covid-19 which has affected not just the State but the whole country.

“What happens there also affects us here in Sarawak, and also whole Malaysia,” Dr Yii said when commenting on the sharp increase of Covid-19 positive cases in Sabah.

He said the State’s public health care system appears to be facing a real risk of being overrun with Covid-19 patients.

“We hear of healthcare workers sharing their stories how hospital beds are full of sick Covid-19 patients, as medical frontliners struggle with what they described as understaffed hospitals and having to working continuously for more than 24-hours due to co-workers contracting the virus,” he said.

Dr Yii said the Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) government’s decision to abolish the Health Ministry’s portfolio has not only downplayed the importance of health but has caused a vacuum in leadership in the fight against the pandemic.

“If the GRS state government is not providing the necessary leadership, I call the Federal Government, especially the Federal Ministry of Health, to step in and be hands-on with the response to the outbreak.

“The Health Minister has two other deputies, one of them can be stationed in Sabah to collaborate with the State Health Director and until the situation in the State is under control,” he said.

Dr Yii stressed that having a proper response system is important especially in Borneo, where conditions and the problems faced are starkly different.

“The policy model of one-size-fits-all based on Peninsular Malaysia does not fit with Sabah’s local conditions.

“While Sabah has declared high numbers of cases for the past few days, 429 cases yesterday, but what is even more concerning is the amount of “sick” or highly symptomatic patients in Sabah in comparison to the national average,” he said.

He said the 43 per cent proportion of Sabah’s Covid-19 patients who are sick enough to require hospitalisation is more than triple the 12 per cent of Malaysia’s overall Covid-19 cases back in early April who was in the third to fifth stages of the disease.

He said this means that four in 10 coronavirus patients placed in some form of the facility in Sabah are ill enough to be hospitalised, according to the Ministry of Health (MOH) statistics, amid soaring Covid-19 infections in the State.

He said this will mean that the 300 to over 400 cases that are reported daily may not be the full picture of the disease burden in the State, adding that the numbers could be higher if the testing capacities are expanded.


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