KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 1 – UMNO President Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi called on the government to further strengthen its commitment to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
The Barisan Nasional (BN) chairman said he was worried if the government was too dependent on the use of vaccines which were still in the clinical trial stage while the current cases remain high.
“Several Malaysian health experts and academics have already given their views on the function of the COVID-19 vaccine. They were saying the vaccine is not the absolute solution to the COVID-19 pandemic. They say the vaccine is effective in preventing a person from suffering from the effects of the infection, but that does not mean that a person who has been vaccinated cannot be a carrier of the virus.
“They also say the virus is something new and complex. Still needs research and long-term data collection for it to be curbed effectively. They say the vaccine is not curative, instead it aims to prevent and control the disease from becoming more critical,” he said in a Facebook posting.
Zahid further explained that experts also agree that standard operating procedures (SOPs) such as social incarceration and so on still need to be continued even after the comprehensive vaccination program begins.
“This means the COVID-19 vaccine is not magical. Unlike drug advertisements that effectively get rid of headaches twice as fast. It will take some time before we can fully control the spread of the pandemic.
“If the number of infections is not addressed from now on, it is feared that Malaysia will take longer to be able to deal with the rate of infection. The government needs to act more proactively from now on so that the rate of infection can be controlled from now on. We do not want more people to lose while waiting for the full vaccination program to begin,” he added.
Furthermore, Zahid also urged for the Movement Control Order (PKP) be tightened by providing appropriate assistance to the people and the business community so that they can survive. “I do not want Malaysia to be labeled as one of the countries that is slow to succeed in dealing with this pandemic.”
He said he monitors the development of the pandemic daily and examines the news released in detail.
“Some say I try to play politics. No. This is not about politics. This is a matter of safety and health for all of us. I also like my brothers and sisters to feel secured. Each of us is prone to infection. Each of us has a family to take care of. But as a representative to the people, it is my responsibility to give my views and voice out their concerns,” he added.
Zahid was saddened with the developments of the pandemic over the past few days.
“For the first two days in a row, almost 6,000 cases of infection were reported. Second, a total of 48 health workers at Sultanah Nur Zahirah Hospital were confirmed to be infected.
“What can we interpret from these two developments? First, the case continues to grow. Both front liners are increasingly stressed and tired.
“We pray that the country’s front liners will continue standing firm in their duty,” he said.