PSC to meet amid increasing VOC cases

Dr Kelvin Yii

KUCHING: The Health, Science and Innovation parliamentary select committee (PSC) will meet to discuss on the national approach to Covid-19 handling amid the increasing variant of concern (VOC) cases.

PSC chairman Dr Kelvin Yii said a letter has been sent to Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun to inform on its desire to hold the meeting.

“I have sent a letter to Parliament Speaker to state our desire to have a PSC on Health, Science and Innovation meeting this month.

“This is to keep the government in check on their approach towards Covid-19 and also receive progress report on the National Covid-19 Immunisation Program (NCIP),” he said in a Facebook post today (July 3).

Dr Yii said the PSC can use its authority under Standing Order 83 (2) to call up experts in the field to get their input on the matter to activate a whole of society approach towards the pandemic.

In his letter to the Speaker, the Bandar Kuching MP said the committee intends to hold a meeting on July 23 or on any earlier date as the issue is getting more serious.

“As of July 2, our country has recorded a total of 6,982 Covid-19 cases, 73 deaths and a positive rate of 7.88 percent, despite undergoing lockdown for a month.

“What is even more worrying is how hospitals across the country, especially in the Klang Valley, are becoming increasingly congested.

“This situation is particularly worrisome with the spread of three more violent new variants namely Beta B.1.351 variant (South Africa), Delta B.1.617.2 (India) and Alpha B.1.1.7 (United Kingdom).”

Dr Yii said with the functions of the PSC optimised, it is able to assist the government in finding a thorough, fast and effective approach based on science and data.

“The PSC will comply with Parliament’s standard operating procedures (SOP) in relation to the Covid-19 pandemic as outlined by the management of Parliament, the National Security Council and the Ministry of Health Malaysia.

“The Committee is also open to hold these meetings in hybrid if it does not violate any of the Rules of Meeting of the Councils of the House of Representatives,” the letter read.