As Covid-19 numbers fall, MP points to lower testing

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As the number of new Covid-19 cases reported lately has been trending downwards, an opposition lawmaker warned that the public and the authorities should be mindful that testing had also dropped.

Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii said the falling number of new Covid-19 cases was meaningless unless it is adjusted for the lower number of test and positive rate.

Bernama

“In a way, this is giving a sense of false security over the real situation in our country. You cannot try to ‘game the system’ by testing less,” he said in a statement today.

The number of samples taken for Covid-19 tests has been declining from a recent high of 126,480 on May 29 to just 77,030 today. [See charts below]

Yii, a trained doctor, argued that a more pressing concern was that new daily Covid-19 case numbers and the number of samples taken continue to drop, the “average positive rate” was still above the 5 percent threshold set by the World Health Organisation on adequate testing.

“In countries that have successfully contained the virus recently like the United Kingdom, the positive rate is about 0.3 percent,” he added.

Yii warned that the government should have used the “total lockdown” period to increase testing as part of a proper exit strategy and a strategy to save lives through early detection.

Failure, he said, would only result in Covid-19 cases increasing again.

“That is why this period of lockdown must not be wasted. Testing should be the number one priority in the next weeks, at all costs, not reducing them to give a false sense of security.

“If we do not get this right, we might end up heavily relying on a lockdown strategy that not only does not solve the problem but has a heavy cost on the livelihood of the people,” he warned.

In just the first week of this month, Malaysia has reported 664 deaths – half of what was reported in May. – Malaysiakini