By Nur Ashikin Louis
KUCHING, Oct 9: Ninety percent of the State population aged 18 years and above have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19, while almost 75 percent of teenagers aged 12 to 17 in Sarawak have received their first dose of Covid-19 vaccines.
This was announced by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg when delivering his speech at the State Banquet, in conjunction with Head of State Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud’s 85th birthday celebration, held at Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) tonight.
“As a follow-up measure to curb Covid-19 virus infection, the State government is of the view that the use of approved anti-body or anti-viral medicine, as being pursued by several countries including Malaysia, is a positive step to further combat the virus,” he stated.
He also informed that as a measure to reduce the effects of the pandemic, the State government has implemented seven packages of Bantuan Khas Sarawakku Sayang (BKSS), coupled with the largest budget in the State’s history, the 2021 Budget worth RM10.1 billion.
The seven aid packages, namely BKSS 1.0 to BKSS 7.0, with 30 programmes and initiatives, have involved an expenditure of RM5.30 billion since the Covid-19 outbreak hits.
“This is one of the largest assistance rates by a State government in Malaysia. And this does not include a special allocation of more than RM91 million to the Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) to cover expenses to address the Covid-19 pandemic in the State.
“Such expenses include vaccine-related logistics costs, increasing the capacity of health and medical equipment as well as ICU wards, payment for the use of hotels as quarantine centres, as well as expenses for the food basket supply programme,” he elaborated.
He also mentioned that the Sarawak government has committed RM6.3 billion to implement the Post Covid-19 Development Strategy (PCDS) 2030, that will get Sarawak back on track to becoming a developed and advanced State within 10 years.
“The Sarawak government is confident that with this transformation, the State will be able to grow the economy at an average rate of 6 to 8 percent per year,” he pointed out. – DayakDaily