Anwar questions low testing rates despite increase in Covid-19 cases


Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim. -The Star filepic

PETALING JAYA: Covid-19 testing rates have decreased by half since nearly a month ago, said Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

The Opposition leader questioned the low number of tests that are being conducted by the authorities.

On June 21, it was reported that 58, 384 Covid-19 tests were conducted with 4, 611 tests returning positive, yielding a case positive rate of 7.9%.

“Testing has decreased by 52% since May 29 and, not surprisingly, daily cases have decreased by 48% during the same time period.

“By way of comparison, in April 2021, Malaysia on average reported 2, 107 new cases per day and conducted 58, 277 tests per day.

“In other words, we now have more than double the cases but are conducting roughly the same amount of testing that we observed in April, ” said the PKR president in a statement on Tuesday (June 22).

The World Health Organisation (WHO), he said, had recommended that 10 to 30 tests should be conducted for every positive case in order to map how widespread the virus transmission is.

“By WHO’s recommendation, Malaysia should be doing at least 138, 000 tests and as many as 300, 000 tests per day.

“If 138, 000 tests were conducted today we likely would have identified more than 9, 000 new tests, ” he said.

He added that the Health director-general had said on Feb 5 that the ministry aims to increase testing capacity to 200, 000 a day, by utilising private laboratories.

“Yet, to date, the most tests observed in a single day is 126, 964 on May 29, nowhere near the 200, 000 target, ” he said.

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