Saturday, May 8, 2021

Bung Moktar offers to be first person to receive Covid vaccine

The Kinabatangan MP accepts a challenge for politicians to clear any doubts among the public on the vaccine's effectiveness.

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Kinabatangan MP Bung Moktar Radin has volunteered to be the first person in Malaysia to receive the Covid-19 vaccine to clear the public’s doubts.

“I offer myself to be the first person to be tested with this vaccine when it’s available.

“I am not afraid because I want to be healthy. The commander of the war must be on the frontline,” he told the Dewan Rakyat during a debate on the health ministry’s budget today.

Bung was responding to DAP’s Sarikei MP Wong Ling Biu, who related his first-hand experience being infected by the virus.

Wong was admitted to Sibu Hospital in March and spent more than a month in a coma.

Wong, who today detailed weaknesses in the treatment of Covid-19 patients, had asked if health authorities are prepared to manage the vaccination drive including the logistic issues of the Pfizer vaccine which need to be stored at -71 degrees Celcius.

Wong also asked if there have been tests on the side effects of the vaccine, as well as on the preparedness of public health facilities in rural areas such as his constituency of Sarikei.

Wong said he had doubts when the doctor at the Sarikei health clinic told him that he was only experiencing normal fever symptoms.

He said a week later, he consulted a private specialist who also told him he was having a normal fever.

He said when he went to Sarikei Hospital for a Covid-19 test, he was told that it did not have such a facility.

He said his insistence on taking the test was rejected, including at Sibu Hospital, where he was told he had not been in contact with any Covid-19 patient.

“On the night that I was admitted to Sibu Hospital, I was in a coma. Imagine, if I had not insisted on a Covid-19 test, I would have died because they kept telling me I was only experiencing a normal fever.”

He said the government hospitals in Sarawak appeared to be in a state of confusion, and recalled how Kuching Hospital had refused to conduct a test on his wife after he tested positive for Covid-19.

“My son Jackie Wong, who is also a national athlete, also underwent a Covid-19 test. He was initially tested postive, but later he tested negative,” he said.

He said his son’s quarantine was extended to 73 days before he was allowed to go home.

“I feel that my family members and I were made into guinea pigs when we were confirmed positive for Covid-19.

“If we already have the vaccine, who else will be guinea pigs? The people want the vaccine to be tested first on politicians and government leaders before it is administered to the people. Are we ready?” asked Wong.

Two agreements inked by the government will ensure that millions of Malaysians are vaccinated against the Covid-19 virus.

The agreement with pharmaceutical giant Pfizer is expected to cover 6.4 million Malaysians, or 20% of the population.

Another vaccine, under the Covax global collaboration to fight Covid-19, aims to inoculate 3.2 million Malaysians, or 10% of the population.

Combined, the two vaccines, to arrive on Malaysian shores early next year, will cover 9.6 million Malaysians.

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