By Karen Bong
KUCHING, June 25: A total of 25 workplace clusters involving 1,765 Covid-19 cases were recorded in slightly less than a month’s period between May 29 to June 24 in Sarawak this year.
Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg, in highlighting these statistics, thus emphasised that dedicated industry vaccination centres (PPVs) are crucial to accelerate vaccination for tens of thousands of workers throughout Sarawak.
“From one cluster, it can spread to the community as workers travel back to their accommodations and homes (that are located not only in urban areas) but also villages.
“As such, the Sarawak government through SDMC (State Disaster Management Committee) decided to have vaccination at workplaces to speed up the coverage for workers,” he told a press conference after his visit to Longi Kuching PPV at Samajaya Free Industrial Zone here today.
He was accompanied by Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas, Minister for Local Government and Housing Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian and Assistant Minister of International Trade and Industry, Industry Terminal and Entrepreneur Development Datuk Mohd Naroden Majais.
Abang Johari disclosed that there were some 46,888 employees under 234 companies in the manufacturing sector operating throughout Sarawak including in Kidurong and Samalaju industrial areas.
“There are 12,600 workers in Samajaya Industrial Area alone in which major companies like Longi, Western Digital, Iljin, Tayo Yuden and X-Fab are operating.
“The workers are staying not only in the surrounding areas but also beyond this zone. So if there are any cases (of Covid-19 infection), they can bring it back to the community where they reside,” Abang Johari added.
Meanwhile, Uggah reiterated that Covid-19 vaccinations are provided free of charge to all industrial workers as the employers will bear the costs for the setting up of the designated PPV as well as the service fee for healthcare teams to administer inoculation.
“The difference between industry PPV and public PPV is that industry ones are initiated by the companies involved to speed up vaccination for workers.
“So they will bear the costs of setting up and services. Vaccination is free for all workers,” he explained.
Commending Longi for the efforts to set up the industrial PPV, Abang Johari pointed out that other companies within the Samajaya industrial zone can also collaborate with Longi for vaccination of their workers.
“Efforts for industry PPVs will continue. Last week, we were at Samalaju where a PPV was established at Press Metal (Bintulu Sdn Bhd) that also allowed companies in the industrial zone to be vaccinated at the PPV, and (there will be) another PPV at Kidurong industrial zone catering for the oil and gas companies’ workers.
“After this, we will cover the plantations as well as the services sectors related to tourism,” he added.
Longi PPV, which has started its vaccination drive since Thursday and will run until Sunday (June 27), aims to administer 2,724 vaccine shots in four days.
It will cater the vaccination of its staff, vendors and small companies around Samajaya industrial zone with less than 300 staff.
Earlier today, Abang Johari also visited industry PPV set up at tHe Spring and VivaCity shopping malls.— DayakDaily