I am, and Malaysians at large are, all for cooperating with the government to flatten the curve and help curb the Covid-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, one of the tools that we should be using effectively, the MySejahtera app, has failed to achieve its objective especially in recent months with new daily cases reaching the thousands.
We need MySejahtera to step up its game to keep all of us safe in this crisis. We should be alerted by the app if we have come into contact with the virus and should get ourselves tested and quarantined. However, this is not happening.
We scan and scan at every premise we enter, but how many have been notified that they have come into contact with a Covid-19 positive case and thus should report to a Klinik Kesihatan nearby to get tested?
It is unlikely that this happens, as now even known closed contacts are not contacted to come in for testing, let alone a crowd that may have been in the same restaurant or bank branch as a positive patient.
So, why the move to penalise people RM1,000 for not scanning MySejahtera and the decision to make it compulsory when clearly the system has not been utilised for what it was designed for – which is to identify close contacts and curb the spread?
If the system was working, and close contacts were effectively and efficiently identified, the number of new cases would not have risen so high, so quickly.
The Ministry of Health (MOH) simply does not have the capacity to test all visitors to a premise based on location contact tracing. The MOH should justify the reason for being strict on registration via MySejahtera, if they are not even effectively safeguarding those who have already registered with MySejahtera and diligently scanning everywhere they go. What exactly is MySejahtera doing with all the data they’ve collected?
The other function of MySejahtera – to self-report to the MOH that one is Covid-19 positive is also problematic. Covid-19 patients awaiting a call from the health ministry can now report themselves through the MySejahtera application on smartphones, health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said.
In my earlier statement, I had called for clarification on whether reporting on the MySejahtera is sufficient or do they still have to go to the Covid Assessment Centres (CAC) in person as well. If they have to go in person to the CAC, then reporting on MySejahtera is a duplicated waste of effort.
In addition, those who have declared themselves positive on MySejahtera or completed their quarantine are not getting their statuses updated.
So what exactly is the function of MySejahtera, and why are we forced to put up with a clearly dysfunctional app?
Rajiv Rishyakaran is the state assemblyman for Bukit Gasing.
- This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of CodeBlue.