KUALA LUMPUR, July 22 — Lanang MP Alice Lau Kiong Yieng today urged the government to release data on mistaken results from Covid-19 testing, amid reported false-negative results from the antigen rapid test kit (RTK).
In the past few weeks, the Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) has revealed that seven cases previously tested negative on the antigen rapid test at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), but later tested positive on the gold-standard PCR test upon landing in Sarawak.
“What are the measures taken by the government to guarantee the accuracy of Covid-19 tests so that the people won’t panic?” Lau asked in the Dewan Rakyat today while debating the King’s Speech.
The Ministry of Health (MOH) has stated that the antigen RTK deployed at Malaysia’s main entry points has a sensitivity rate — or the rate of correctly identifying positive results — of 90 per cent.
Besides that, she also raised questions on the number of public and private health facilities which provide Covid-19 screening services as well as the total allocation spent for screening thus far.
The DAP lawmaker also suggested postponing the national level Malaysia Day celebration this year to avoid forming new Covid-19 clusters.
This year, Sibu was chosen to host the national celebration for Malaysia Day.
“What are the government’s measures to ensure no increase in Covid-19 cases due to this celebration?” Lau asked.
“I suggest to postpone the Malaysia Day celebration to next year to reduce the Covid-19 cases and Sibu will remain being the host for that celebration next year,” the Sarawakian MP added.
She also proposed an alternate suggestion for everyone who is involved in the celebration to undergo Covid-19 screening before entering Sibu, if her earlier suggestion is not feasible.
Lau highlighted the importance of following safety measures, such as wearing masks in Parliament, citing 87 MPs who have higher risk of falling severely sick from Covid-19 because they’re aged 60 and above.
At the same time, Lau highlighted the shortage of medical specialists in Sibu in oncology and cardiology, saying their services deemed crucial for people in nearby areas.
Today, CodeBlue reported that seven west coast states from north to south peninsular Malaysia had two to 18 times more specialists compared to Sarawak, and between three and 33 times more than Sabah, across the anaesthesiology, surgery, orthopaedic surgery, medicine, paediatrics, and obstetrics and gynaecology departments, based on 2010 data from the Clinical Research Centre that was cited by Meradong assemblyman Ding Kuong Hiing.
Lau emphasised on the need to absorb contract health workers, such as doctors, pharmacists, dentists, and nurses, into the government service by offering them permanent posts.