Sabah needs more help on Covid-19, says Anwar
Published on: Tuesday, October 20, 2020
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Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim said Sabah’s healthcare system, which is already under-funded, under-staffed, and under-resourced, is now inundated and overwhelmed by the epidemic.
PETALING JAYA: Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (pic) called for more support to be provided for Sabah’s healthcare system, which he said is now inundated and overwhelmed by the surge in Covid-19 cases.

Anwar said the Health Ministry should provide full disclosure of its strategy to contain the spread of Covid-19 in Sabah.

He said the Government must consider providing emergency aid to marginalised communities, especially since most of the State is under the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) and millions of Sabahans are unable to resume regular work.

Noting that 54pc of new Covid-19 cases in Malaysia since Oct 1 were attributed to Sabah, Anwar said it was equally troubling that the mortality rate of infected patients in Sabah was very high.

“Sabah’s healthcare system, which is already under-funded, under-staffed and under-resourced, is now inundated and overwhelmed by the epidemic,” he said.

“The Health Ministry has been diverting resources to Sabah but the Ministry cannot do this alone.

“This effort needs political support from strong leadership and the involvement of the National Disaster Management Agency and other ministries to mobilise adequate medical teams and equipment, improve logistics and provide wider reach of aid.”

Sabah has consistently topped the number of new cases according to the daily updates provided by the Health Ministry, with the State recording 643 cases on Monday, making up 74.3pc of Monday’s total of 865 cases reported.

New infections in the State have reached triple digits for more than 11 days in a row now. Overall, the State has recorded 8,082 of the country’s total number of 21,363 cases.

Noting that experts indicate there is likely to be a continued increase in the number of cases in Sabah as the virus is spreading in the community, Anwar said the country should have the capacity to conduct large-scale testing as a means to identify and isolate infections before they spread further.

He also said it was imperative that data about cases, testing and mortality are shared openly with healthcare professionals working in collaboration with the government to confront the pandemic.

“The lack of information prevents experienced professionals around the country from doing what they can to assist,” he said.

“A more open data policy will rebuild public trust in the Government’s handling of the pandemic.”


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