KUALA LUMPUR, August 30 — Ipoh Barat MP M. Kula Segaran has called on Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob to liberate the Covid-19 vaccination process amid a surge of infections and deaths in Perak.
Kula described the situation in the state as being “out of control”, with the daily number of Covid-19 deaths and brought-in-dead (BID) increasing in recent weeks.
Weekly deaths due to the coronavirus doubled from 35 cases in the 30th epidemiological week from July 25 to July 31, to 71 cases in the 34th epidemiological week (August 22-28), while BID cases nearly quadrupled from three to 11 cases over the same period.
In the past two weeks alone, the state reported a total 146 Covid-19 deaths and 22 BIDs, compared to 77 total Covid-19 deaths and six BID cases in July.
“There are just too many deaths in the state and it is going up daily,” Kula said in a statement. “The facts are that Perak does not have the facilities in place to cope with a Klang Valley type situation. The infrastructure and human resources here will not be able to cope.”
The former human resources minister said there is a need to accelerate the inoculation process in Perak. As of August 29, only 46.9 per cent of the state’s adult population are fully vaccinated, making it among the six bottom-ranked states, which include Sabah, Kelantan, Kedah, Johor, and Terengganu, with less than half of their adult population receiving complete vaccine doses.
“The Perak state government can do what the Selangor state government did by purchasing vaccines for the people of the state and aid the Ministry of Health (MOH) in reaching a faster vaccination administration level,” Kula said.
“Further, MPs should be allowed to purchase vaccines on their own accord for their constituency,” he added.
The DAP lawmaker questioned the number of vaccine doses administered by the federal government compared to the amount it has purchased so far. He also asked why local governments are buying vaccines at double the cost of what the MOH paid.
He cited Bukit Gasing state assemblyman Rajiv Rishyakara’s recent claim that the Selangor state government paid RM101.60 per Sinovac vaccine dose from Pharmaniaga Bhd, double the federal rate of about RM50 per dose for all Covid-19 vaccines, including Sinovac.
Kula said MPs should be allowed to purchase self-test kits for their own constituents as the idea is to isolate those infected from uninfected people to prevent Covid-19 spread to healthy people.
He added that MOH must also be transparent as there is murmur of discontent among constituents on whether Perak is running low on vaccine supply and if the Delta variant is already rampant in the state’s local communities.
“I hope MOH can provide adequate information on these matters raised and that the PM can step in to seriously consider more liberation towards the vaccination process so we can help MOH vaccinate Malaysia quickly and efficiently.”