Yeo Bee Yin: What happened to 150k tests a day plan?

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The government has been urged to explain what happened to its plan to increase RT-PCR tests to 150,000 a day.

In a statement, Bakri MP Yeo Bee Yin said the government promised to double tests from an average of 70,000 back in January.

However, she pointed out that government figures showed tests to still be in the 70,000 range in recent weeks.

“Four months have now passed…where is the promised 150,000?

FMT

“The Covid-19 virus waits for no one. Four months is a long time in battling a once-in-a-century global pandemic,” Yeo said.

On Jan 21, Health Ministry director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the goal was to conduct 150,000 tests a day, but he did not set a time frame for that target.

Malaysia is currently grappling with yet another surge of Covid-19 cases. Yesterday saw the highest number of daily fatalities being reported at 34.

Yeo, a former science, technology, and innovation minister, said the government should now be adept at testing and isolating patients after more than a year into the pandemic.

“How many more MCOs (movement control orders) can we afford to bring the country out of the Covid-19 crisis?

“The government is insane if their plan is to do the same thing over and over again but expecting different results,” she said.

Calls by several quarters to include RTK-Antigen (RTK-Ag) test kits in the screening process were also ignored.

“While RTK-Ag may be less accurate, it makes up for speed and capacity (as it is widely available and not restricted by lab capacity). It surely has a place to play as a stopgap measure as we struggle in increasing RT-PCR capacity,” Yeo said.

Yeo said the government cannot just expect the people to be disciplined and suffer the financial impact of MCO while they are not bucking up on their part.