KUALA LUMPUR: The MCA has criticised the government’s incompetence in handling the Influenza A outbreak and says the Health Ministry should have acted quicker to prevent a shortage of vaccines.
Although the infection has grown gradually since the outbreak began late last year, MCA Social Development Committee chairman Datuk Dr Lee Hong Tee said the government has yet to announce any action plan.
“However, the government has yet to issue any directive or action plan to date, nor has it published any relevant information, ” he told the media here Tuesday (Jan 14).
Dr Lee, who is also a party central committee member, said the influenza outbreak has spread and caused alarm among the people.
“The government should have a mechanism to overcome this crisis and provide thorough information to the rakyat in a systematic, structured, timely and accurate way as well as in a timely manner.
“They should announce what needs to be done. Do not leave patients confused and in fear, ” he said.
Dr Lee urged the government to set up an Influenza A Special Action Committee to address this epidemic and to disseminate relevant information to the people.
“The committee should conduct a briefing session at least once a day, to report on the latest development of the outbreak, including the number of patients, fatalities, location of the infection, vaccine stocks and others.
“They should set up special evacuation rooms at hot spots, coordinate the distribution and method of usage of medicines and vaccines.
“They should also educate the public on preventive measures in a systematic and structured manner via various channels and platforms, ” he said, adding that the reason behind the epidemic should also be made known.
Although Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad had said on Monday (Jan 13) that stocks of vaccines have been resolved, Dr Lee said what the rakyat saw and felt was the opposite.
“There are still not enough vaccines and there is also an insufficient supply of medicines.
“The government needs to find a remedy to obtain more vaccines to effectively distribute them to protect the people.
“It appears that the government is not able to do anything against the spread of this influenza outbreak. In fact, it is not acting seriously although there has been a fatality, ” he added.