Kit Siang: Explain confusing COVID-19 ‘reported deaths’ claims

THE Health Ministry (MOH)’s explanation about the backlog of COVID-19 deaths has caused considerable confusion and an explanation from its minister is warranted, says Iskandar Puteri MP Lim Kit Siang.

“Malaysians are now told that due to ongoing exercise to clear the backlog of COVID-19 death data, MOH expects the number of ‘reported deaths’ to spike in the coming days,” he remarked in a statement on Monday (Sept 13).

On Saturday (Sept 11) Malaysians have been advised to refer to a new data set – ‘actual deaths’ as an indicator of the real-time situation and this MOH explanation has caused considerable confusion, Lim added.

“First, MOH is not denying that the figures of ‘reported deaths’ represented actual number of persons who has died of COVID-19 in Malaysia.

“Secondly, for how long had the Malaysian public been given a low estimate of the COVID-19 deaths in the country – one, two or three months?

According to Lim, COVID-19 deaths data from Sunday (Sept 12) which were posted at 1.30am on the new CovidNow website and at 4am on Worldometer, there were 292 COVID-19 deaths, including 106 brought-in-dead (BID) COVID-19 deaths.

“How many are respectively ‘reported deaths’ and ‘actual deaths’?

“Furthermore, is the MOH prepared to go back for one, two or even three months to issue a correction of daily COVID-19 deaths to show the ‘actual death’ and ‘reported death’ position on every particular date?”

Lim went on to criticise former prime minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s claims that his Government’s war and strategy against the COVID-19 pandemic has not been a failure as he had claimed at the recent National Recovery Summit.

“When Muhyiddin became prime minister on March 1, 2020, there were 29 COVID-19 cases and zero deaths and today, we are likely to pass the two million-mark for COVID-19 cases and 21,000-mark for COVID19 deaths.”

With 292 COVID-19 deaths yesterday, Malaysia has now beaten the world’s top four countries with the most cumulative total of COVID-19 cases and daily COVID-19 deaths – United States (246 deaths), India (210 deaths), Brazil (261 deaths) and the United Kingdom (56 deaths).

“Aren’t these sufficient indications of the catastrophic nature of the war and strategy of the Muhyiddin Government against the COVID-19 pandemic and a new start must be made in the war against the COVID-19 pandemic?” – Sept 13, 2021

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