Prioritise Reducing Covid-19 Cases, Dr M Tells Government

Dr Mahathir also condemned the private sale of Covid-19 vaccines to people, saying they should be provided for free.

KUALA LUMPUR, July 26 — The government’s main focus should be on reducing daily Covid-19 cases, Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today, as the epidemic continues surging to record highs.

The Langkawi MP and former prime minister said that the constant increase in daily new Covid-19 infections are scaring the people, as a 24-hour high of 17,045 cases were recorded yesterday.

“The government was supposed to implement necessary measures when the Covid-19 tally was at 2,000. Now the number has reached 17,000,” Dr Mahathir said today in a special Dewan Rakyat meeting.

“Some are saying that soon the number will reach 25,000 people. For sure, we can’t provide treatment for them. We won’t have enough beds for them.”

Dr Mahathir also said that government spending of RM350 billion did not yield any positive results in efforts to overcome the Covid-19 epidemic in the country. 

At the same time, he also condemned the commercial business behind Covid-19 vaccines for sale in the private market, stressing that these were supposed to be given for free to the people.

“When many are sick, dying and killing themselves, we are thinking about making money from the vaccine. Is this what we call a concerned government?”

It is to be noted that local pharmaceutical Pharmaniaga Bhd only started distributing the Sinovac vaccine to the private market after fully delivering the federal government’s order of 12 million doses. 

The Selangor state government has procured 2.5 million doses of Sinovac’s vaccine from Pharmaniaga to inoculate 1.25 million of its residents under the state’s Selvax vaccination drive, which is now part of Operation Surge Capacity by the federal and state governments to inoculate all adults in Selangor and Kuala Lumpur with at least one dose by August 1.

The state government will inoculate a total of 125,000 industry workers in Selangor under the Selvax Industry programme with 250,000 doses of Sinovac vaccine doses.

SELVAX is charging industries RM350 per employee for two doses. The price — charged to employers, not workers — includes the cost of vaccines, administration, and other logistics costs.

Antah Pharma Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of Antah HealthCare Group, has also signed a deal with Pharmaniaga LifeScience Sdn Bhd to distribute Sinovac’s Covid-19 vaccine for sale to the general public, including employers, general physician clinics, hospitals and pharmacies.

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