Selangor Apprehensive About Lockdown Without Mass Testing, Vaccination: Dzulkefly

Selangor’s Covid-19 incidence rate, ICU admission rate, and death rate exceed national rates, though the state is not the worst in these indicators nationwide.

KUALA LUMPUR, May 19 — The Selangor state government today expressed its concern over Putrajaya’s proposal of a complete lockdown in the state, without widespread Covid-19 testing and increased vaccination. 

Dzulkefly Ahmad, chairman of the Selangor Task Force for Covid-19 (STFC), mentioned that the proposed lockdown will bring immense pressure to small businesses, households, and impact the economy.

“If there is an intention to impose a lockdown in order to combat the widespread Covid-19 virus in the community, then we want a much targeted and effective lockdown,” Dzulkefly said in a press conference.

“Don’t make the lockdown as an easy excuse just because we have failed to manage the earlier Movement Control Orders (MCO) well.”

Dzulkefly explained that the state has 1.9 million households. Besides that, a total of 3.59 million of the country’s labour force are staying in Selangor, with 3.4 million of them working in the state. 

“Selangor’s condition isn’t the worst yet. It has become the victim as the state is densely populated, with a high number of factories and crowded.”

Despite Dzulkefly’s explanation on per capita Covid-19 infection rates, Selangor’s Covid-19 incidence rate, intensive care unit (ICU) admission rate, and death rate still exceed the national rates, though the country’s most developed state is not the highest in all three indicators.

According to paediatrician Dr Musa Mohd Nordin, Kuala Lumpur has the highest Covid-19 incidence rate based on the number of active cases per population, followed by Kelantan, Selangor, Sarawak, and Penang — all of which have higher incidence rates than the national rate.

Dr Amar-Singh HSS, a senior consultant paediatrician, mentioned that Covid-19 ICU admission rates per 100,000 population on May 8 was highest in Melaka, followed by Kelantan, Sarawak, Kuala Lumpur, and Selangor — all of which were higher than the national 1.57 rate per 100,000 population.

In another tweet, Dr Amar pointed out that the highest Covid-19 death rate per million population from May 11 to 17 was in Kuala Lumpur, followed by Selangor, Kelantan, Labuan, Putrajaya, and Johor — all of which exceeded the national rate of 7.55 fatalities per million people.

Dzulkefly also pointed out today that the RTK-Ag tests are not being taken into account by the Ministry of Health (MOH) to confirm Covid-19 cases. He said that this has led to a delay in testing and resulted in late contact tracing.

“On average, in order to get a PCR appointment when there is a positive case detected through RTK-Ag Test, it takes three to five days,” Dzulkefly added.

As of May 17, a total of 163,272 people in Selangor have received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, whereas 103,981 people have completed their vaccination process.

Dr Siti Mariah Mahmud, Selangor’s state executive councillor for public health, said today that coronavirus vaccine coverage of Selangor population is too low compared to other states.

“Only 3.3 per cent of Selangor population has been vaccinated. This is lower than Kuala Lumpur, Labuan and Melaka,” she said, referring to coverage with at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine among adults aged 18 and above.

She added that the “ring-fencing” method is needed to protect Selangor from being affected more compared to the implementation of a total lockdown which eventually will affect the livelihood of small business traders. 

“We have to protect the people with a wider coverage of vaccination. Then we don’t have to stop them from going out for work. Imagine the losses occurred every time when we close a factory,” she said.

She also insisted that the federal government should proportionate Covid-19 vaccines based on the population size and Covid-19 incidence rate of a state. 

Earlier, the Health Ministry had indicated that a full-fledged lockdown will be imposed in Selangor if cases continue to rise uncontrollably in the state.

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