Putrajaya must increase funding to ensure Covid-19 close contacts fully screened, says Guan Eng
A health worker collects a swab sample from a man to test for Covid-19 in Petaling Jaya January 18, 2021. — Picture by Miera Zulyana

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 22 — DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng today urged the ruling Perikatan Nasional (PN) to double or even triple its funds to enable proper screening of all close contacts of confirmed Covid-19 cases in the fight to end the pandemic.

He said that only with a full trace of those who have had close physical contact with Covid-19 patients and testing to see if they have the virus so they can receive proper medical treatment, can the daily four-digit infections be brought under control.

“The PN government should double or triple the funding and resources spent to fully implement the 3Ts of testing, tracing and treatment to ensure that all close contacts of Covid-19 patients are subjected to full screening tests.

“Full implementation of the 3Ts of testing, tracing and treatment, including full screening tests, is most effective in containing the spread of Covid-19,” he said in a statement.

The Bagan MP said the country’s public healthcare system is in its current state due to the government’s “relaxation” of its guard against the coronavirus.

“This ‘relaxation’ of the previous ruling requiring full screening tests involving all asymptomatic close contacts, is the result of our healthcare system unable to cope with the surge in the number of Covid-19 patients.

“Clearly Cabinet Ministers should wake up and do their job to provide full support and resources, in terms of equipment and manpower, for our front-liners in their life and death battle against COVID-19,” he added.

He also urged Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin to reveal the amount the government has already spent on tracing and screening close contacts of Covid-19 patients, and the sum that would restore full screenings for those who have had close contact.

Recently, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced the Malaysian Economic and Rakyat Protection Assistance Package (Permai).

“The Permai initiative will be based on three main objections, which are to combat the Covid-19 pandemic, to ensure the welfare of the people, and to support the survival of businesses,” he said.

Under the Permai care package, a total of RM800 million was allocated for the Health Ministry (MoH) to focus on supplies, including additional reagents, screening kits, sanitisers, consumables as well as personal protective equipment specifically for healthcare frontliners.