AFTER Higher Education Minister Datuk Dr Noraini Ahmad was criticised as wasting personal protective equipment (PPEs) during a visit to its laboratories, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UiTM) has defended her by saying she was merely adhering to standard operating procedures.
According to UiTM, it was compulsory for “approved visitors” to be clad in PPEs when visits its laboratories.
It is for safety purposes. We emphasise on the issue of health and safety for individuals entering laboratory areas, ” the varsity tweeted on Thursday (April 16).
UiTM also said there was a special allocation of PPEs for “approved visitors” in their laboratories for important purposes such as acquiring information and assessment.
At the same time, UiTM said the purpose of Noraini’s visit was to monitor developments and UiTM’s effort in reducing workload for the Health Ministry in battling Covid-19.
“It is also the responsibility of Noraini as the Higher Education Minister to be kept in the loop over any activities taking place in local universities, particularly efforts to assist the Health Ministry in combating the scourge of Covid-19, ” it tweeted.
Recently, Noraini ended up on the receiving end of social media scorn after pictures of her donning PPE, isolation gown, surgical gloves and a face mask during a visit to UiTM made rounds on Twitter.
“Yesterday, I visited the Covid-19 laboratory at the Sungai Buloh UiTM specialist centre to witness the procedure in processing samples. This lab has processed more than 1,300 samples so far, ” she tweeted on Wednesday (April 15).
Social media users, who did not mince their words, chastised Noraini’s visit as they pointed out that frontliners were already facing a shortage of PPEs.
“YB, you’ve denied one front-liner of the short-in-supply PPE. Stay away, ” tweeted Farah Zain.
Before that, Noraini courted flak for proposing a TikTok competition on Twitter to convince young Malaysians to stay home during the movement control order (MCO).
The tweet was later taken down following public backlash.