FORMER health minister Khairy Jamaluddin and former deputy international trade and industry minister Ong Kian Ming have jointly issued a statement urging the Health Ministry (MOH) to reconsider enforcing the use of the MySejahtera app.
The call comes as part of a comprehensive approach to monitor and analyse COVID-19 data, identify new outbreak patterns, and implement measures to curb the spread of the virus.
The latest statistics reveal a significant spike in COVID-19 cases, with 12,757 cases reported for the week ending Dec 9, marking an 88% increase from the previous week’s 6,796 cases.
Besides, most of these cases did not require hospitalisation, highlighting the importance of proactive measures to contain the virus.
Khairy and Ong have recommended the reinstatement of the test, report, isolate, inform and seek (TRIIS) framework as an effective tool to alert the public and the healthcare system to potential outbreaks.
“(This is) to alert the public that they should take preventive measures and for the public sector to be prepared for the possibility of a new wave of COVID-19 infections.”
Emphasising the importance of collaboration between ministries, the former officials have called on the MOH to work closely with the Finance Ministry for the procurement of the latest variants of booster vaccines available in the market.
They also stressed the need to reactivate the vaccination ecosystem through both private and public clinics and hospitals.
“At the same time, the health ministry should start to reactive the vaccination ecosystem through the private and public clinics and hospitals.”
Moreover, Khairy and Ong urged the MOH to coordinate with the Human Resources Ministry and Investment, Trade and Industry Ministry to detect patterns of outbreaks among factory workers.
They noted the necessity of conducting inspections at the living quarters of these workers, particularly addressing overcrowded conditions and poor ventilation that have contributed to past “factory clusters”.
“One of the reasons for the ‘factory clusters’ that took place during the pandemic was the fact that many of these workers, mostly foreign, were cramped into housing that was overcrowded and without proper ventilation.
“Strong action must be taken against those companies which still house their foreign workers in poor conditions which are not compliant with international labour standards.”
Furthermore, the former officials advocated for increased transparency from MOH, urging daily publication of COVID-19 fatalities and other key statistics. – Dec 15, 2023