KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 4 — Health Minister Datuk Dr Adham Baba said the Ministry of Health (MOH) refuses to share raw Covid-19 data with other parties, including state governments, due to “past incidents”.
In his written reply to a question from his predecessor Datuk Seri Dzulkefly Ahmad (PH-Kuala Selangor, Dr Adham said that the sharing of data will lead to different interpretations and possibly cause panic among Malaysians. He however did not disclose details of any such incidents.
“This is to avoid the risk of contradictory or variable interpretations of data by various agencies that could possibly lead to public panic because of the information delivered,” he said in a written reply published on the Parliament site today.
Dzulkefly, who previously complained that MOH no longer shares data with Selangor’s Covid-19 task force (STFC), had asked Dr Adham whether the MOH was prepared to share inter-district data on the third wave of the Covid-19 epidemic in Malaysia, especially in Selangor.
He said that data was previously shared by the MOH, National Security Council (NSC) and Selangor State Operations Centre.
Today, the state executive councillor in charge of public health, unity, women and family development in Selangor, Dr Siti Mariah Mahmud, claimed the decision not to share detailed data on Covid-19 has left Selangor in the lurch, forcing the state government to play a guessing game when it comes to curbing infections.
On October 19, Health Director-General Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said that MOH’s federal headquarters could not fulfil the STFC’s request for “raw data” to ensure data interpretation was standardised.
“If we have not analysed the data and then they make a conclusion, I won’t know what conclusion they make. Is it right for you to make a conclusion when I have not even seen the data yet?
“That is where we need to standardise the data.
“That means the federal will analyse it, and we give the data to the respective states. And the respective states will look into the data,” he reportedly said.