PETALING JAYA: The Federal Government should maintain close cooperation with the state governments of Sabah and Sarawak to ensure sufficient supplies of medical items such as the Covid-19 reagent test kits, says the Federation of Chinese Associations Malaysia (Hua Zong).
Hua Zong president Tan Sri Goh Tian Chuan (pic) said the concern was valid, as the two states are facing logistics problem after airlines suspended their operations.
"The sea cargo had to first go through Port Klang which was, unfortunately, experiencing congestion currently.
"This has inevitably further impacted the arrival of the sea cargo in the two states," said Goh in a statement on Thursday (April 9).
The ongoing logistics problem, he said, has validated the grave concern and requests of the two states to the federal government to allow for the import of essential goods like food and medical supplies directly from the sources.
"We hope the government will take this matter into serious consideration and come out with a win-win solution in the best interest of the people of Sabah and Sarawak," he said.
Goh also expressed concern over Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah's revelation that the existing supply of reagents test kits could only last for another week and that the Health Ministry has started to source from other places including Singapore.
"Sabah and Sarawak are also facing acute shortage of reagents to conduct tests on the public, especially patients under investigation (PUIs).
"It is good that both the state governments and state Health Ministry promptly update its federal counterpart of the shortage.
"We hope we will receive the supplies soon so that they can be used to test the individuals who have recently returned from a religious gathering in West Sulawesi, Indonesia," he said.
Goh also called on the relevant authorities to be vigilant, as the remaining attendees of the event may attempt to sneak back into the state through the "rat lanes" to avoid mandatory checks and quarantine.
"This will pose a serious risk of a potential cluster transmission," he added.
On Tuesday, Dr Noor Hisham said the ministry and other agencies were working together to source for more reagents for Covid-19 tests, as the existing supply can last for another week.
He added that they were working to increase tests to the maximum capacity.