Tony Pua: Adham should quit for disastrous management of Covid-19 crisis

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Damansara MP Tony Pua today criticised Health Minister Datuk Seri Adham Baba for his poor handling of the Covid-19 crisis.

FMT

“It beggars belief that the country has been in a lockdown mode for more than eight weeks now and yet the number of Covid-19 positive cases appears to be running out of control,” Damansara MP Tony Pua said in a statement today.

Pua said Adham and the Perikatan Nasional-led government had “wasted the sacrifice of the people” because they had failed to play their role to contain the spread of the virus.

He said the most obvious evidence of this failure was the fact that the health ministry had conducted fewer tests despite the increase in positive rates.

Pua accused Adham and the Ministry of Health (MoH) of reducing testing numbers in May in order to show a lower percentage of infections.

He pointed out how the weekly positivity rate in cases remained elevated throughout the movement control order (MCO) period with the lowest of 6.61 percent achieved in the week of June 6 to 12.

“Based on World Health Organisation recommendations, any positivity rate of above five percent is too high and action must be taken before reopening the economic and social sectors.

“But what did our minister do? Instead of increasing the number of tests to track the positive cases to isolate and reduce transmission, he reduced the tests substantially. The total number of cases tested declined consistently from average daily samples of 109,601 in the week of 23-29 May to 72,308 cases (20-26 June), a massive drop of 34 per cent.

“This was despite repeated calls by Pakatan Harapan leaders, think tanks and the civil society imploring the ministry to carry out more tests. The ministry has only very gradually boosted the average weekly test samples over the last two weeks despite a sharp rise in positivity rate to 8.92 percent last week. Even then, the 87,457 average daily samples is still far below the testing carried out in May,” he said.

Malaysia has been under a nationwide lockdown for more than two months in order to try to curb Covid-19 infections, but since then cases have only increased.

With no positive effects from the lockdown and people losing their jobs with no source of income, Pua said it’s been obvious that Dr Adham has not done his job.

“It is now completely obvious that the Health Minister Dr Adham Baba has been resting on his laurels, believing that the virus will just magically fly away once the lockdown is put in place,” said Pua.

In a press conference yesterday, the federal government set up a special task force to make quick decisions for Covid-19 cases in the Greater Klang Valley.

Public Health deputy director-general Datuk Dr Chong Chee Kheong said the task force was set up to make quick decisions and ensure a safe working bubble before anyone can return to work.

Pua, however, said announcing this task force without having any plans in place is useless.

“Instead of merely announcing another special Covid-19 task force for the Klang Valley with no specific plan of action in sight, Dr Adham Baba must take full responsibility for the MCO 3.0 and full MCO disaster by resigning as health minister.

“His incompetence has caused billions of ringgit of losses, immeasurable pain and hardship to ordinary Malaysians struggling to make a living during the pandemic.

“If he fails to resign, it is imperative for the Perikatan Nasional government to sack the most incompetent health minister we have ever had in the history of Malaysia,” he said.