JOHOR BARU, Aug 26 ― In light of the Covid-19 surge in Johor, the state Pakatan Harapan (PH) called for bipartisanship measures involving state assemblymen in an immediate effort to formulate a pandemic recovery plan.
The Opposition coalition hoped that the state government will take the measures in an effort to improve the health system and open up the industrial sector safely.
“This is very important so that the people of Johor can work again in order to continue to survive in the era of the Covid-19 pandemic and rebuild the state’s economic sustainability.
“Johor PH urge the state government to redouble its efforts and plans to overcome the spread of the Covid-19 epidemic following the recent increase in the number of deaths due to this epidemic.
“We recommend that the state government improve the infrastructure and facilities of the health system such as increasing the capacity of the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and strengthening the frontline to ensure that the people receive the best treatment and recover quickly from their Covid-19 infection,” it said in a statement.
The statement was jointly issued by Johor Opposition leader and state PH chief Aminolhuda Hassan, who is also the state’s Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah) chapter chief, his PKR and DAP counterparts Syed Ibrahim Syed Noh and Liew Chin Tong, respectively.
The statement came as Johor recorded the highest number of Covid-19 deaths for the second time in a row on August 24, surpassing Selangor which recorded the highest number of deaths before this.
Previously, on August 23, Johor recorded the highest number of Covid-19 deaths in Malaysia at 41 cases compared to 211 cases in total. It increased to 51 deaths out of a total of 174 cases reported on the following day.
Johor PH also pointed out that the spread of cases involving the industrial sector in Johor is still worrying.
“Based on information from the Johor Health and Environment Committee chairman R. Vidyananthan during the state assembly sitting on August 22, the state’s industrial sector recorded the highest number of active Covid-19 clusters, which was 142 clusters.
“Johor PH urges the state government to improve the find, test, trace, isolate and support (FTTIS) methods to combat the spread of Covid-19.
“This approach is important so that Johor is prepared for any epidemic spread in future, especially with the existence of Delta and Lambda variants which are expected to further fuel an increased rate of infection,” said the statement.
Johor PH noted that although 50 per cent of the population in the state has received their first dose of vaccine, the rate of those receiving a complete two doses is still low at only 28 per cent until August 24.
“It is among the lowest in Malaysia. The Johor vaccination rate needs to be increased immediately to achieve herd immunity by the end of this year.
“The state government needs to realise that each delay is very risky and will contribute to increasing the number of casualties.
Yesterday, Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob released a joint statement with PH chairman and PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng, and Amanah president Mohamad Sabu saying they had met and agreed on several matters.
Those matters included strengthening Parliament, ensuring judicial independence and institutional reforms in the country’s governance, which the leaders said was based on the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s decree for bipartisanship to resolve the Covid-19 and economic crises.