Covid-19: Tony Pua questions why there is 'no strategic urgency to drastically boost the number of tests'

KUALA LUMPUR (July 14): Opposition lawmaker Tony Pua (pictured) raised the question today as to why there is “no strategic urgency to drastically boost the number of tests carried out” as he said the number of untested Covid-19 positive cases infecting the community is clearly still “very, very large”.

This, the MP for Damansara said, is proven by the report published yesterday by the Ministry of Health (MoH), that the 11,079 positive cases detected were from 116,869 samples which gave a positivity rate of 9.48%.

Pua shared information compiled with data from MoH demonstrating how the weekly test positivity rate in cases remained elevated throughout the MCO period with the lowest of 6.61% achieved in the week of June 6–12.

“Based on World Health Organisation recommendations, any positivity rates above 5% is too high and actions must be taken before any re-opening of the economic and social sectors are recommended,” he noted in a statement today.

He added that the total number of cases tested declined consistently from average daily samples of 109,601 in the week of May 23–29 to 72,308 cases (June 20–26), which he pointed out was “a massive drop of 34%”. 

The ministry has only very gradually boosted the average weekly test samples over the last two weeks despite a sharp rise in positivity rate to 8.92% last week, he said.

“Even then, the 87,457 average daily samples (are) still far below the testing carried out in May,” he added.

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