PETALING JAYA: The health director-general this evening thanked the housing and local government for disinfecting public areas, an initiative that has drawn criticism from Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah’s predecessors.
“We would like to thank the ministry for helping us by carrying out disinfection.
“These activities do require expertise and we will work with them, not just with agencies under the housing ministry but others as well,” he said at a press conference in Putrajaya.
On Monday, Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin led a disinfection operation at a wet market in Petaling Jaya but was criticised for disinfecting roads and curbs as opposed to surfaces that people come into direct contact with.
Two former deputy health directors-general – Dr Christopher Lee and Dr Lokman Hakim Sulaiman – have said that disinfecting roads did little to curb the pandemic and was a waste of resources.
However, Zuraida defended the initiative, arguing that spraying public areas was a necessary precaution as there is a lack of information as to how Covid-19 is spread.
On a related matter, Noor Hisham said that the health ministry, along with the National Security Council, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission and the science, technology and innovation ministry is working on a software to predict and locate Covid-19 cases in certain areas.
This, he explained, would help the authorities take immediate action at hotspots.
Asked on a proposal by former health minister Dzulkelfy Ahmad for the ministry to share clinical data with the states, Noor Hisham said it would depend on the type of data.
“We need to look at what aspect of the data we can share. There is not much of an issue when it comes to public health data, but when it comes to personal data, such as their history (of contacts), that may pose some issues.”