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Covid-19 Governance

Warisan: Sabah in Critical Medical Situation

KOTA KINABALU : As daily new Covid 19 cases in Sabah hovers above 2,000 for the past 2 weeks with experts suggesting another incoming crisis, Warisan today, while stating that even though some in Government have claimed that they have done well on overcoming the pandemic, questioned the Sabah State Government for its continuous inability to wholly assert themselves when dealing with the Federal Government to resolve to mitigate this clear and present danger to Sabah.

The Deputy President of Warisan, Darell Leiking said that there are now talks of an alleged “standing order” being issued to doctors and nurses in Queen Elizabeth Hospital to prioritise younger patients over the elderly due to the lack of sufficient intensive care unit (ICU) beds and equipment and such order is indeed the saddest thing that a family could have to bear.

“Hence, it should not be left to the doctors, nurses or staffs who have done their utmost best and acted professionally through-out the duration of the pandemic to tell families that the hospital cannot accept their infected members because of the alleged standing order but the entire Sabah Government who never had the courage in the first place to stand up assertively in front of their Putrajaya’s political masters and demand that Sabah be prioritised and have an immediate delivery of all essential medical supplies and apparatus for the benefit of fellow Sabahan.

Never forget that Sabah has been a consistent contributor (more so thru its Oil & Gas and Plantations amongst many more) to the Malaysia’s GDP and continuous announcement of Sabah getting all the needed supplies when in fact there are serious shortcomings only affirms that Sabah never is a priority by their Federal Political Masters.

Time and time again, Warisan and throngs of Sabahans be it in printed or social medias have reminded the State Government to be assertive when dealing with the then PN led Federal Government, and now BN, over the inconsistent supplies to the medical facilities issue, the inconsistent SOPs and on the lack of vaccines to Sabah but they (State Government) have seemed to ignore or if they had attempted to liaise with their Federal leaders have been ignored by their Federal Political Masters instead.

What we only seemed to have heard instead are lavished praises to the former Prime Minister, Muhyiddin Yasin and media statements announcing that the State Government are doing their job whilst the current predicament faced by the medical facilities and counter facts now speaks for itself.

If at all they had assertively demanded from the Federal Government, then why do we continue hear not only from social medias but also from their own Government State Assemblymen of vaccine shortages at PPVs (Vaccination Centre) that have caused much frustration to Sabahans who had troubled themselves for that particular day to get their vaccinations but only to know that there are limited supplies or none at all.

Have the State Government ever thought that this irregular, limited or inconsistent supply of vaccines at PPVs, which several people have already informed me, will seriously demotivate Sabahans, rendering them to delay their vaccination to a time until there are no more shindigs at PPVs or only when these Covid19 vaccine supplies are guaranteed?”, he said in a statement today.

He also said that there are also reports of oxygen tanks and ventilators from other districts in Sabah being rushed from Beluran and Kinabatangan to the Duchess of Kent Hospital, Sandakan which is also another tell-tale sign of how the State Government lacks foresight in its fight against the pandemic.

“Have the State Government initiated any allocation to purchase ventilators and oxygen tanks to supplement infected Sabahans at all hospitals in Sabah?

Common sense tells us that the need for the oxygen tanks and ventilators in one way or another, will correspond with the increase of daily new cases in a particular district especially in relation to those who need hospitalization and if this State Government had only a little bit of more of foresights, it should have anticipated which district will require these tanks based on the daily reported new cases.

And the State Government should also know that the increase of new cases in the State is based on a constant trajectory hence the reports in the last 2 weeks should have given them ample time to prepare for sudden rise and need of oxygen tanks and ventilators in the State.

But how can we anticipate the next district that will require oxygen tanks (after Sandakan) if the Government continues to tell us that most daily new cases are actually backlog results – since Sabah has only 2 PCR test centres (Kota Kinabalu and Lahad Datu), the delivery of results from these centres to other district can take up to 3 days.

Hence, the State Government must and should establish as many temporary PCR test centres as possible, spread them all over Sabah, so that we can correctly anticipate and triangulate which district that will require sufficient oxygen tanks and related medical instruments to treat Covid patients,” he pressed on.

Leiking also said that the recent revelation by frustrated officials and those who face the reality of what is actually happening on the ground wholly contradicts what the State Government have been announcing of late.

“It would be no surprise at all that some may deem reminders issued by President of Warisan, Shafie Apdal and many others who have reminded, criticised and reprimanded the State Government as merely ‘a statement intended to gain political limelight’ but have these counter-critic realised how could that be a mere statement if the revelations by medical officials and others on the ground contradicts with whatever assurances given by the Government to Sabahans that they are managing the pandemic well?

Let us all admit that that the real pandemic situation in Sabah are not as what they said it to be and in fact Sabah is in a serious and critical medical situation indeed where the Sabah State Government must now present an emergency allocation to supplement what the Federal Government have continuously failed to do for Sabah and now declare that there is indeed a clear and present danger to the health of Sabah not only medically but economically.

Many Sabahans and many medical experts had consistently given warnings, recommendations and ideas to the Federal and Sabah Government on how to contain and mitigate the pandemic Sabah is facing but it would seem that the Government have not seemed to have taken these ideas and recommendations but have just left it to their usual way.

It is imperative that the State Government should while demanding without any reservations from their Federal Political Masters MUST :-

  1. start engaging first the expertise and facilities available by private clinics in Sabah and even from out of Sabah (as an addition when Sabah-based medical doctors have been fully utilised);
  2. engage medical experts in the military to combine their current strategic approach to resolve the pandemic in Sabah;
  3. to immediately deal direct with vaccine producers to procure additional vaccines or even consider taking up the excess vaccine supply as loans from the State of Selangor as had been reported in the media of late;
  4. to secure more single shot anti Covid-19 Dosage such as CanSino and similar products;
  5. to allocate from the State’s funds, the purchase of oxygen tanks, ventilators and essential medical utensils and medication to treat and save the lives of all Sabahans young or old; and
  6. in addition to all, to also secure medical experts who have experience in treating Covid 19 patient treatment regime just as how India, Indonesia and other countries have treated the same including the supply of these proven medication.

It is also proposed just as we had heard as talking points in social media these days that the State Government should consider allocating an aggrievement entitlement of not less than RM5,000/- to the immediate family of those who have passed away because of Covid-19 so that the State Cabinet Ministry will look into the pandemic more seriously than ever before,” he concluded.