#kerajaangagal187 –Malaysia should establish a Covid-19 pandemic study centre to learn from the successes and mistakes of other nations and to keep abreast with new thinking on the coronavirus

I reiterate my proposal 17 months ago that Malaysia should establish a Covid-19 Study Centre to learn from the successes and mistakes of other nations and to keep abreast with new thinking on the subject.

Seventeen months ago, all countries of the world were pursuing the “Zero Covid” policy but now, more and more countries are open to the “Live with Covid” policy.

But the “Live with Covid” policy can involve diametrically opposite strategies and approaches as shown by the United Kingdom and Singapore examples – as it is unchartered territory capable to various combinations and permutations depending on different environments and circumstances.

Yesterday was supposed to be “Freedom Day” in United Kingdom, where laws requiring masks to be worn in shops and other indoor settings lapsed, along with capacity limits in bars and restaurants, and rules limiting the number of people who can socialise together.

But within hours, the Prime Minister, in self-isolation, performed a U-turn and announced that vaccine passports will be compulsory to enter packed venues such as nightclubs from late September, once all adults have had the chance to receive two jabs.

Labour leader, Keir Starmer, joined scientists to oppose the move, calling on the government for an urgent rethink as cases spiral, describing it as a “reckless free-for-all”.

If we have a Covid-19 Pandemic Study Centre, no Minister would make a fool of himself or herself denying that Malaysia has become a worst-performing nation in the Covid-19 pandemic, despite three adverse international reports, viz:

· June 2021 Bloomberg Covid Resilience Ranking with Malaysia falling 35 places from its 16th ranking in January 2021 to 51st position in June 2021 out of 53 economies of more than US$200 billion;

· Economist’s global normalcy index which placed Malaysia in the last 50th position out 50 countries; and

· Nikkei Covid-19 Recovery Index which ranks Malaysia No. 114 out of 120 countries on infection management, vaccine rollouts and social mobility.

Yesterday, we registered 10,972 new Covid-19 cases and 129 new Covid-19 deaths – the world’s top 12th country in daily new Covid-19 cases and the world’s top ninth country in daily new Covid-19 deaths.

In the United States, 114 people died of Covid-19 yesterday, but in Malaysia 129 people died of Covid-19. It is no consolation that yesterday, 1,338 people died of Covid-19 in Indonesia and 372 died in India.

The government should work out a strategy to lower the fatality rate of Covid-19 cases – which should be part of a new policy in the war against the Covid-19 pandemic.

Two new development yesterday in the Covid-19 pandemic which should concern Malaysians and our policy-makers are:

· The statement by the former US Surgeon-General Dr. Jerome Adams: “Instead of vax it OR mask it, the emerging data suggests CDC (Centres for Disease Control and Prevention) should be advising to vax it and mask it in areas with (rising) cases and positivity until we see numbers going back down again.”

· The recommendations by the American Academic Pediatrics for the 2021-22 school year that include everyone older than age two wearing masks, regardless of vaccination status.

Is the government and our policy-makers keeping tab with global developments in the Covid-19 pandemic?

(Media Statement (2) by DAP MP for Iskandar Puteri Lim Kit Siang in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday, 20th July , 2021)

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