Provide Covid-19 self-test kits to all rural households in Sarawak, PSB man urges state govt

PSB Mulu pro tem chairman Prof Son Radu says the state government should provide all low-income households in rural Sarawak with free Covid-19 self-test kits. ― Bernama pic
PSB Mulu pro tem chairman Prof Son Radu says the state government should provide all low-income households in rural Sarawak with free Covid-19 self-test kits. ― Bernama pic

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KUCHING, Oct 26 ― A Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB) man has called upon the state government to provide all low-income households in rural Sarawak with free Covid-19 self-test kits.

In pointing this out, PSB Mulu pro tem chairman Prof Son Radu believed that there were signs of a surge in new Covid-19 cases and deaths.

“Deaths from Covid-19 have remained high, in the double digits range. Equally alarming is the number of brought-in-dead (BID) cases.

“There are now field hospitals, which are typically associated with war zones, in Miri, Sibu and Kuching. The one in Kuching is sponsored by Mercy Malaysia.

“Sarawak’s intensive care unit (ICU) bed capacity has hit the 80 per cent occupied level. The seldom-told part of this is the ICU beds are cramped in a very limited space.

“Indeed, these are not signs that anybody should be comfortable with. My fear is that Sarawak might not be able to enter into the endemic stage at any time soon, as Malaysia is expected to enter Phase 4 (of the National Recovery Plan) by next month – the stage some are referring to as the endemic stage,” said Son, who is also PSB’s potential state election candidate for Mulu.

He said it did not help when Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Dato Sri Alexander Nanta Linggi had said recently that the state’s ruling coalition, Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS), wanted to hold the 12th state election ‘before the Covid-19 vaccines’ effectiveness waned’.

“In view of these things and to ensure that Sarawakians, particularly the rural-based Sarawakians, are able to both actively and effectively practise ‘intelligent living’, I urge the Sarawak government to, on the most urgent basis, provide all those in the B40 (low-income) and the lower rung of the M40 (medium-income) households with Covid-19 self-test kits.

“The number of kits provided should be enough for all members of each household to administer self-test every fortnightly, until two weeks after the 12th state election is held, at the very least,” said the PSB man.

Son said the endemic stage, once officially declared, would be the stage where the government had acknowledged that ‘the Covid-19 is here to stay’.

In the meantime, he also appealed to the GPS-led government to not hold the next state election before the lifting of the Emergency scheduled in February next year.

“Use the remaining three months to manage this pandemic well so that the 12th state election could be safely held either in February or March next year,” he added. ― Borneo Post

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