In danger of perpetual MCOs, Malaysia says expert

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KUALA LUMPUR- If the government does not get its Covid-19 policies correct, Malaysia is in danger of getting perpetual movement-control orders (MCOs), said Dr Musa Mohd Nordin.

Dr Musa said during an online forum on Jom Channel on Wednesday, “We are not finding the hotspots and not doing enough mass testing with rapid tests” (Jan 20).

And if the government is unable to get the FTTIIS correctly, it will continuously have MCOs, said the KPJ Damansara Specialist Hospital consultant doctor.

The acronym for Identify, Test, Trace, Isolate and Help System to fight virus pandemics is FTTIIS.

Dr Musa said polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests are too slow, which the Ministry of Health insists on.

“Although less specific, in contrast to the PCR tests, Rapid Test Kits (RTK) will provide results within an hour. When an individual knows the outcome, whether they are in Stage 1 or 2, they can be separated immediately.

“In addition, on the second day itself, the ministry will begin contact monitoring.

“PCR tests are costly, require laboratories and produce results in three days only. The person may have already begun to infect others by this time. This is a faulty strategy that, unless accepted, Malaysia is in trouble,”said Dr. Musa.

“This is dangerous as one superspreader can spread to hundreds like Case 126 last year compared to 80 percent who do not infect anyone,” he said, but the ministry seems less willing to test now than before.

Together with economist Dr Muhammed Abdul Khalid, Dr Musa spoke at a forum about Covid-19 and the economic effects of MCO. Dr Abu Hafiz Salleh Hudin moderated the session.

He said the government of Malaysia must also restrict the price of antigens in order to make the cost of testing more accessible.

“Dr. Musa said, “The World Health Organization supplies them to us at US$5 each (S$6.63), but some locations charge RM280 (S$91.75) for tests.

The government should also restrict the price of vaccines so that they can be evaluated by the public and obtained from private hospitals and clinics, he said.

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