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Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin speaks at a press conference in Putrajaya, September 1, 2021. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin speaks at a press conference in Putrajaya, September 1, 2021. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

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KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 2 — Iskandar Puteri MP Lim Kit Siang has urged newly-minted Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin to address Malaysia’s high Covid-19 infections and deaths that were persisting despite the country’s rapid vaccination.

While lauding Khairy’s pledge to increase transparency at his ministry and provide more detailed Covid-19 data to the public, Lim said Khairy did not address the aforementioned matter during his first press conference for his new portfolio yesterday.

“Khairy has started on the right note as the new health minister, promising to be transparent and to provide more detailed Covid-19 data to the public while addressing several pressing problems and initiatives to intensify the Covid-19 operations by allocating more vaccines, manpower and medical equipment to five states which are recording a rapid rise in daily Covid-19 cases.

“However, there is one urgent problem which Khairy has omitted in his maiden media conference as health minister, the escalating daily new Covid-19 cases and record-high deaths in the midst of increasing vaccination rates,” he said in a statement here.

Citing official and public data on Covid-19, Lim said there have been no sign of decline in the daily Covid-19 cases and record-high deaths since the National Recovery Plan was announced by then prime minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin on June 15.

“Daily new Covid-19 cases passed the 20,000-mark on August 5. Since then, there have been 18 days with daily new cases over 20,000 (reaching a peak of 24,599 on August 26), six days from 19,000-20,000 and two days each from 18,000-19,000 and 17,000-18,000 cases.

“Covid-19 cases and Covid-19 deaths are on the very high side but we are unable to say whether they are now rising or falling,” he said.

Lim subsequently said it was only fair to allow Khairy time to implement his policies and initiatives before any judgement could be made before giving the minister a period of one month to ascertain whether Malaysia would be on a trajectory of decline for daily new Covid-19 cases and deaths.

Malaysia recorded 18,762 daily new Covid-19 cases and 278 Covid-19 deaths yesterday.

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