KUALA LUMPUR: The government was today taken to task for its delay in acquiring the Covid-19 vaccines.
With the Dewan Rakyat sitting for the first time since last December, Tony Pua (PH-Damansara) questioned the health ministry for being slow to act in ordering the vaccines although other countries had done so much earlier.
“We waited. Waited for what?,” he asked.
According to Pua, the first agreement to buy Sinovac from China was only done in November, and with Pzifer at the end of December.
“That is why we didn’t have enough stock,” he said, adding that this is the main reason why the country’s vaccination programme started only in late February and had been slow in its implementation nationwide.
“It is only now that about half a million vaccinations are administered daily. This should have happened three to four months ago.”
Meanwhile, Dr Lee Boon Chye (PH-Gopeng) called out the government for failing to add more resources, especially in terms of manpower, in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.
“While frontliners such as police and medical staff are overworked, others could go for holidays during lockdowns,” the former deputy health minister said alluding to government MPs who were reported to have travelled overseas or to other states in the past two months.
He also criticised the decision to allow big factories to open despite reporting an increase in infections among its workers while businesses with no cases or low-risk were not allowed to open at all.
“It is no longer relevant whether a business is essential or not,” he said, referring to hairdressers who did not report any cases when they were allowed to open.
Umno MP Noh Omar (BN-Tanjong Karang), meanwhile, questioned if the lifting of the Emergency proclamation and ordinances on July 21 would now affect the government’s use of private healthcare resources.
“What are the alternative plans as the ordinances have suddenly been revoked. Are there any other measures in place?” he asked.
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