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Monday, May 31, 2021

High positivity rate in Johor warrants mass testing, say MPs


Two Johor opposition MPs have urged the state government to conduct mass Covid-19 tests as the positivity rate was dramatically increasing of late.

According to Kulai MP Teo Nie Ching and Bakri MP Yeo Bee Yin, they were informed during the Johor lawmakers' meeting last Thursday that the positivity rate had gone up from 5.2 percent during the April 20 to May 3 period, to 9.8 percent during the May 4 to 17 period.

Health Minister Dr Adham Baba has revealed that for the May 23 to 29 period, the positivity rate was 5.79 percent.

In May last year, the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommended a 5 percent positivity threshold for reopening the economy. Some have interpreted a positivity rate of more than 5 percent as a sign of under-testing.

Teo and Yeo said the Johor government should take heed of health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah's call for state governments to conduct mass RTK-Ag tests during the total lockdown period from June 1 to 14.

In view of this, the duo urged the Johor government to emulate the Selangor government by facilitating 1,500 test kits for each state assembly constituency.

"Positivity rate which is consistently above the 5 percent benchmark set by WHO warrants more testing. It also suggests higher transmission and that there are likely more people with Covid-19 in the community who haven’t been tested yet.

"The Johor state government should play its role during this full movement control order to curb the pandemic immediately," said the duo.

Johor currently ranks fourth in the country in total number of Covid-19 cases and deaths linked to Covid-19. - Mkini

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