‘Double or triple’ budget for testing, tracing and treatment, says Guan Eng

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PETALING JAYA: DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng says the government must “double or triple” the amount being spent on testing, tracing and treatment (the 3Ts) to limit the number of positive cases going undetected.

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In a statement, the Bagan MP also called on Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin to announce how much had already been spent on the 3Ts and state how much more would be needed to ensure all close contacts of positive cases are tested.

This comes after health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said that screening tests will no longer be conducted on all identified close contacts, only on those who are symptomatic.

“The Perikatan Nasional (PN) government should double or triple the funding and resources spent to fully implement the 3Ts to ensure all close contacts of Covid-19 patients are subjected to full screening tests,” Lim said.

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“Due to the mismanagement of the Covid-19 pandemic and the lack of resources and manpower by the PN government, there are tens of thousands of ‘untraced’ close contacts of Covid-19 patients.”

He said “the dangers of not conducting full screening tests on all close contacts and asymptomatic individuals is very real”, citing US-based research which found that transmission from asymptomatic individuals was estimated to account for 59% of all Covid-19 transmissions.

He said the relaxation of the requirements for testing stems from the healthcare system being overwhelmed and unable to cope with the high case load.

“Cabinet ministers should wake up and do their job to provide full support and resources, in terms of equipment and manpower, for our frontliners in their life-and-death battle against Covid-19.”- FMT

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