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Ling addresses reporters at the press conference. From left are Geok Wei, Chu, Geok Moi, and Hee. — Borneo Post Online pic
Ling addresses reporters at the press conference. From left are Geok Wei, Chu, Geok Moi, and Hee. — Borneo Post Online pic

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MIRI, July 16 — The family members of Choo Fui Khian, who died at Miri Hospital after she had her first dose of Covid-19 vaccine on June 26, is appealing to the Ministry of Health (MoH) to make known her post-mortem results.

Her older sister Chu Siew Tzen said the family is still very sad about the incident as the 57-year-old was healthy when she went to the hospital’s Covid-19 vaccination centre (PPV).

“We really cannot accept this until now and we are still waiting for the department (MoH) to give us the final report as we need to know what had actually happened to her.

“We cannot accept that she was found to have signs of heart attack. Even if a heart attack might have happened to her, she had shown no symptoms of it and was quite normal when she went for vaccination at the hall,” she said told a press conference today.

She claimed that a viral video showing Choo in distress and being attended to by health workers at the PPV indicated there was no oxygen machine around.

“So we wonder whether what they have done could actually help her to overcome breathing difficulties.

“Therefore, we are all feeling down and we want the report to come out as soon as possible because this is a very special case and they must do it urgently,” she said.

Choo’s daughter Sim Geok Wei, who had lodged a police report following the tragic incident, also appealed for MoH not to delay releasing the post-mortem report.

“This is a special case and they should treat it as one. MoH should not take a long time for the report because if we do not know the result of the report, we cannot do anything or even take the vaccine as we do not know whether this has got to do with a problem relating to the vaccine or the doctor or nurse.

“We do not know, so we need the report as soon as possible,” she said.

Senator Alan Ling, who hosted the press conference at his office, pointed out the post-mortem was conducted on June 27.

“This is a special case and it concerns everyone, especially now that the National Immunisation Programme is ongoing.

“The people are worried, so this report will not only serve the family members’ interests but also give the public an understanding of the whole situation. The people are feeling panicked now because of this,” he claimed.

Ling said he had written to Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah to ask for the investigation to be expedited.

“But I have not received any reply since then. Therefore today in conjunction with this press conference, I am writing again to Tan Sri to follow up on this case, hoping that MoH and the director himself will give special attention to this case.

“They want a transparent and fair report to be conducted as fast as possible, and because of this new guideline on compensation, which had just been formulated in the Special Financial Assistance Adverse Effects of Covid-19 Vaccine early this month,” he said.

Ling explained the fund set up by the government is to disburse financial aid in the unlikely event a person experiences serious side effects from Covid-19 vaccines.

“RM50,000 will be paid out to those who encounter serious side effects and have to undergo long-term hospitalisation. RM500,000 will be paid out in the event of permanent disability or death,” he said.

He added that the effect must occur within three months after vaccination, claims must be made within a year, and in cases of death a post-mortem report must be included.

Ling added that compensation is secondary to Choo’s family.

“The primary concern for the family members is to get the report and to know the results. Without the post-mortem we cannot do anything.”

Ling said he would bring the case up during the Dewan Negara sitting scheduled to begin on Aug 3.

“I will definitely bring this up in Parliament so hopefully before that MoH can come up with the post-mortem.

“So far, only the Sarawak Health director (Datuk Dr Mohamed Sapian Mohamed) has come up with a statement following the incident, in which I think it is unfair as we want the full report of the post-mortem.

“The finding of the early investigation seems to put the blame on the deceased’s signs of heart attack, which was rather one-sided and caused the family members to feel hurt,” he said.

Also present at the press conference were Choo’s eldest daughter Sim Geok Moi and Democratic Action Party Socialist Youth Sarawak chief Peter Hee. — Borneo Post Online

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