Health DG Noor Hisham Should Take Responsibility – Stop Blaming The People For The Skyrocketing Covid-19 Cases

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May 09 2021
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Daily Coronavirus new cases hit 4,519 on Saturday after Friday’s 4,498, which was then a three-month high. And you can bet your last dollar that very soon the record of 5,728 new infections recorded on January 30 will be broken. For those who believe the government has been suppressing the statistics and data, the daily cases are actually double than what is being reported daily.


On the ground, the situation is absolutely serious, to put it mildly. Unlike the third wave, the current fourth wave has seen an increasing number of ethnic Chinese being hit. In preparing for the worst, the Chinese community scrambles for traditional Chinese medicine in view of its huge success in China. Lianhua Qingwen capsules, for example, are already out of stocks.


If that is not enough to convince you that this round will be a bigger wave and more fatal, you should see how Health Ministry’s director-general, Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, has started to panic. Painting a grim picture as the country struggles against the Coronavirus pandemic, he said new cases could hit 7,000 a day by the end of this month. But it could get worse.

Health Ministry Director-General - Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah

Amusingly, as Dr Noor warns that Malaysia ought to learn from India’s screw up, the Indonesian Health Ministry told its people to learn not only from India’s devastating second wave, but also not to screw up like Malaysia. Jakarta probably saw Kuala Lumpur could end up like New Delhi. After all, Malaysia’s double standards, incompetence, hypocrisy, policy flip-flops and SOP U-turns are legendary.


Yes, after being drunk with previous minor success in containing the second wave, Dr Noor appears to have finally woken up from his fantasy. He finally realized that all the fingers may be pointed at him now. The prime minister whom he had tried to protect through cover-up and data manipulation does not seem to care about running the country, leaving it on auto-pilot.


Instead of taking responsibility for not acting professionally, the Health Ministry’s director-general has blamed the people and everything under the sun, but himself. He defended the half-baked MCO 2.0 lockdown as a huge success, arguing that the country succeeded in avoiding the US-based Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) predictions of daily 20,000 new Covid-19 cases.

Coronavirus - Malaysia Swab Test

According to IHME’s projections in January, Malaysia will register 20,035 new Covid-19 infections on March 3. However, The IHME model did take into account lockdown measures. Obviously the 3-week MCO 2.0 lockdown from January 13 to February 4 had helped the health ministry lower the number of Covid-19 cases. In addition, tricks were deployed to keep the numbers low.


Following the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) damaging and humiliating reports in late Jan, the government was under pressure to scrap the MCO 2.0, of which every one ridiculed and mocked as inefficient and irrelevant. Hence, beginning early Feb, the Covid-19 new cases miraculously started to drop from more than 4,000 daily cases to below 3,000.


Another factor why the number of new cases had been dropping since early Feb was the deliberate exercise to reduce testing. To artificially suppress daily cases, the health ministry issued a new order – only test those with Coronavirus symptoms. Essentially, those identified as close contacts to Covid-19 positive patients will no longer be tested, creating artificial low infections.

Coronavirus - Malaysia People Wearing Mask

The new directives from Dr Noor Hisham also said only a number of samples would be taken in terms of contact tracing involving a cluster. The Health Ministry argued that it would suffice to take 20 samples if the number of exposed people in the cluster is less than 50. And if the number exceeds 50, then the ministry would take 30 samples, or 10%, whichever is lower.


Today, Dr Noor bragged that the country may have hit five-figure infections as predicted by the U.S.-based IHME if Malaysia had not implemented the MCO 2.0 on January 13. In truth, the prediction had spooked the Health Ministry and the government, hence the shameful, dirty tricks to reduce testing and under-reporting the actual number of people exposed in clusters.


Interestingly, Dr Noor also said after the MCO 2.0 was fully lifted in Malaysia by March 4, the authorities had allowed the reopening of the social, education, sports and religious sectors. He blames people’s non-compliance to SOPs as the reason for the current deteriorating situation. Exactly why did he not advise the government against the reopening of those sectors?

Dr Noor Hisham - Health Director-General

More importantly, despite the lack of compliance by the general public as claimed, what had he done since March 4 till today to correct the situation? As the top medical adviser, was it not his job to advise the government on the right course of actions? That’s right – he did nothing at all, but dance to the tune of the government – sucking up to his political master.


That explains why Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah made a fool of himself when he told all and sundry in early January that the worst is yet to come, before changing his tune in February, announcing that the worst was over because the number of cases hit its peak on Jan 30 with 5,298 infections, only to flip-flop again in March. Whose fault was it that he flip-flopped in January, February and March?


He had targeted the number of new cases to continue to drop to double digits by May. But the only double digits now are the number of deaths. Daily Coronavirus cases remain at four digits. Clearly the MCO 2.0 was a failure. Can Dr Noor explain the difference between MCO 2.0 and CMCO because it sure did not look, feel and sound like the hugely successful MCO 1.0.

Ministers Attend Wedding - Jelebu MP Jalaluddin Alias

Where was Dr Noor when dozens of ministers, including Annuar Musa, Tengku Zafrul Aziz, Khairy Jamaluddin, Higher Education Minister Noraini Ahmad and Zuraida Kamaruddin deliberately breached the SOP by travelling interstate to attend the wedding reception of the daughter of Jelebu MP Jalaluddin Alias in Seremban, Negeri Sembilan, on March 14?


Where was Dr Noor when the Mahiaddin government decided to allow Ramadan bazaar (market) to open on April 13? The markets, which were cancelled last year due to the Coronavirus outbreak, are allowed to operate nationwide – numbering 1,073 in total – despite over 2,000 daily cases of Covid infections. It was even allowed to operate until 2am.


Where was Dr Noor when an estimated 103,994 university students were allowed to travel interstate back to their respective hometown this year as part of the traditional “balik kampung” exodus for Hari Raya Aidilfitri? Did he lift a finger to stop the crazy idea, or did he agree that university students are immune to the virus, hence will not spread Covid in their hometowns?

Coronavirus - Ramadan Bazaar Crowd - Low Compliance

Did the genius Dr Noor seriously reject the premature lifting of the half-baked MCO 2.0 lockdown in the first place, let alone the VIP wedding’s festival, Ramadan bazaar and the “balik kampung” exodus? Was it not he who said in late January that MCO 2.0 won’t be prolonged because it will affect the economy? So why is he suddenly blaming the lifting of MCO 2.0?


Hilariously, the Health Director-General is still screaming about hospitals running out of beds. Back in January, in a televised address to announce the MCO 2.0, the power-hungry Muhyiddin said health ministry facilities can no longer cope with over 2,000 new cases per day. The prime minister said 15 government hospitals were seeing utilisation rates of more than 70% of non-intensive care unit (ICU) beds.


Back then, Hospital Kuala Lumpur (HKL) and Universiti Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC) had reached 100% usage of beds in intensive care units, while Sungai Buloh Hospital had reached 83% of its total capacity. To make matters worse, more than 1,450 medical officers or frontliners at hospitals nationwide had been infected or ordered to undergo quarantine.

Coronavirus - Malaysia Healthcare Medical Doctors Attending Covid-19 Patient

Exactly what has the Ministry of Health, in collaboration with all the ministries, done since January to prepare or improve the shortage of intensive care unit (ICU) beds, oxygen supply, medicines, ventilators and whatnot? Has the defence ministry, under “turtle egg” Senior Minister Ismail Sabri, given any instruction to set up military hospitals to supplement the public hospitals?


The sudden introduction of HIDE (Hotspot Identification for Dynamic Engagement) by Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin to flag premises or locations infected with Covid-19 cluster is a good idea. It allows the general public to identify premises to be avoided so that they don’t get infected or unintentionally spread the virus.


This brings back the memory of the suspicions of hanky-panky, cover-up and even data manipulation upon confirmation that since the first week of October 2020, the Selangor Task  Force for Covid-19 (STFC) was no longer received granular data from the Health Ministry to help its efforts to contain the outbreak. Today, Selangor is the state with the most Covid-19 infections.

Muhyiddin Yassin and Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah

Health Ministry director general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah defended the controversial move last Oct, claiming he would only share processed data for better coordination. Not only granular data (lowest detailed data) are being guarded with utmost secrecy and not to be shared, he also announced that his ministry would also stop disclosing the locations where Covid-19 had been detected.


He had argued that the decision was made to prevent people and places of infections from being stigmatised and thus cause panic. The introduction of HIDE, however, appears to be a slap in the face of Dr Noor. Perhaps he should explain why he no longer rejects the idea of sharing the locations of Covid-19 hotspots now, a spectacular U-turn from his stance last October.


Someone should remind Dr Noor that he is partially, if not fully, to be blamed for the outbreak of the third wave of Coronavirus, which was triggered after Muhyiddin’s second coup to snatch power in the state of Sabah. It was Dr Noor, who said that the 14-day quarantine was not mandatory for Sabah arrivals in the Peninsular because not all arrivals returned from red zones.

Muhyiddin Yassin - Prime Minister Legitimacy In Question

Of course, that third wave would become one of the “longest” Covid-19 waves in the world. And he has the cheek to lecture the people about compliance to SOP and blame the general public for the ongoing pandemic. It was the backdoor Perikatan Nasional government’s half-baked policies, double standards in enforcements, clueless leadership and lust for power that are the root of all the problems.


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It’s easy to derogate the DG and the PN government, what has Anwar Ibrahim and Pakatan Harapan done so far to deal with this Covid situation? Could they not at least do something in the States that Pakatan Harapan controls?

Even the evil Mahathir has gone on Facebook to appeal to people to restrict movement to help battle Covid.

And there’s silence from Anwar Ibrahim and Pakatan Harapan on this front. Oh I forgot, Anwar Ibrahim and Pakatan Harapan only knows how to complain. Asking them to come up with solutions AND implement … it’s like asking a child to pilot an airplane. Too difficult for a bunch of whiners.

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