Plan “random in nature”, not based on “good science”.
The government’s Covid-19 recovery plan may set the country up for another wave of Covid-19 instead of on a path to recovery.
Federation of Islamic Medical Associations advisory council chairperson Dr Musa Mohd Nordin said the plan was “random in nature” and not based on “good science”.
Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin yesterday announced the recovery plan which outlined the criteria that must be met in order for the Covid-19 restrictions to be eased over four phases.
At present, only essential economic services are allowed to operate.
However, the government hopes to move to Phase 2 by July where some economic sectors will be allowed to open if average daily cases fall below 4,000.
Putrajaya expects to move to Phase 3 by September where the social sector is also expected to reopen if the average daily cases dip under 2,000 and the vaccination rate hits 40 percent.
By November, the government expects a full reopening of the economy if the average daily cases can fall below 500 and the vaccination rate reaches 60 percent.
Musa said an exit plan meant mitigating the pandemic which requires speedy find, test, trace, isolate and support efforts.
“This is the back to basics of effective and efficient Covid-19 pandemic management,” he said.
He added that the determination to reopen the economy should be science-based and realistic.
The metrics include the number of Covid-19 cases, deaths, infectivity rate, healthcare capacity, vaccine rollout status, and public compliance with the standard operating procedures.
The government has had to grapple with a resurgence of Covid-19 cases twice after reopening the economy and lifting restrictions too soon.
The recovery plan has so far been criticised for lacking clear strategic direction on the economy and further financial assistance for businesses.
From a science point of view, Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii said using an absolute number of cases daily as an indicator for moving to looser restrictions was insufficient.
This is because the number of cases is dependent on testing.
“So, unless we adjust the reporting to tests done, then it is a more significant parameter,” he said in a tweet.
He also called the recovery plan “devoid of substance”.
Meanwhile, Iskandar Puteri MP Lim Kit Siang said the recovery plan appeared to be a reaction to the conference of rulers rather than an actual exit plan.
“Clearly, Muhyiddin’s live telecast yesterday was more a response to the special rulers’ conference today on the disastrous government mishandling of the Covid-19 pandemic,” he said in a statement.
He said the plan was a “great disappointment” and did not offer “the light at the end of the tunnel”.
“It is not about national recovery to chart the country’s return to the pre-pandemic era but how to bring the Covid-19 pandemic under control,” he said.