KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 14 — Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob today justified reopening 11 economic sectors, despite the country still recording more than 100 daily Covid-19 deaths.
Ismail Sabri pointed out that hair salons and hair-cutting services, for example, were linked to only one Covid-19 cluster last year; he did not give data for this year.
He also noted that only one or two Covid-19 cases were linked to beauty salons, while not a single coronavirus infection was detected in car-washing facilities last year.
“So this data shows that we can focus on reopening certain sectors, even though clusters have been found in other places,” Ismail Sabri told the Dewan Rakyat today during Ministers’ Question Time.
Kulim Bandar Baharu MP Saifuddin Nasution Ismail (PKR) questioned the government’s scientific basis for reopening the country amid high Covid-19 fatalities.
“Science and data show that vaccination rates are high, but new variants are the antithesis to vaccination,” Saifuddin said in Parliament.
“Sarawak has the highest vaccination rate, but currently also records the highest daily positive cases. How do science and data justify reopening the economy?”
According to Ministry of Health (MOH) data, 104 new Covid-19 deaths were reported nationwide yesterday based on seven-day averages. Daily fatalities have been declining since a peak of 301 on August 7.
Sarawak — which has fully inoculated 64 per cent of its total population with two vaccine doses — is now facing a surge of coronavirus infections and fatalities, as well as rising severe cases requiring hospitalisation and intensive care.
The country’s largest state has been reporting more than 3,000 daily infections since September 5, including a record high 5,291 cases on September 12.