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SIBU, June 30: Sarawak is set to reopen its economic sectors in August after achieving herd immunity that sees 80 per cent of its people vaccinated against Covid-19.
Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg in revealing this at a press conference following his visit to the Public-Private Partnership Covid-19 Industry Immunisation Programme (Pikas) at University College of Technology Sarawak (UCTS) said that there was a strong possibility that the state’s economy will reopen in August, where things will be back to normal.
A total of 1.03 million people in the State from the total population of 2.08 million, had received the first dose of the vaccines as of June 29.
“If we have achieved 80 per cent herd immunity in August, our economy will be reopened as our people are protected already. Then we can only open our coffeeshops and nurseries. Life then will be back to normal,” he said.
However he cautioned that under the new normal and despite having achieved herd immunity, the people still need to comply with the standard operating procedure guidelines such as the wearing of face masks and practicing physical distancing.
“We need to have self discipline and maintain personal hygiene even though we are already protected against the virus,” he said.
The Chief Minister said the mass vaccination exercise involving workers in the private sector was aimed at preventing future workplace clusters from happening.
“30 workplace clusters have occurred so far, involving 1,700 cases since May 8 and these positive cases subsequently spread to people in villages. So we are now doing mass vaccination to prevent the emergence of workplace clusters,” he asserted.
The State has done mass vaccination for workers in Samalaju and Kidurong in Bintulu, Samajaya in Kuching and now UCTS in Sibu.
“So far we have noticed that the trend of cases has gone down after we have done massive vaccination exercises,” he said.
On the Pikas at UCTS which is administering between 1,500 to 2,000 doses daily, he said it will soon be open for the public to undergo vaccination.
As for Sibu Division, he said as of June 29, a total of 149,743 (64.4% of Sibu Division population) have received at least their first dose.
“I am sure the Sibu Division will achieve herd immunity by the third week of August. I must congratulate our frontliners and our people. I once again congratulate all Sarawakians who come voluntarily for the vaccine,” he said.
Earlier he launched two PPV Mobile buses which will be used to transport rural people to the vaccination centre.
Accompanying the Chief Minister for the visit were theDeputy Chief Ministers Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah, and Datuk Amar Haji Awang Tengah Ali Hasan, Local Government and Housing minister Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian and his deputy Dr Annuar Rapaee and Pansar Holdings Bhd managing director Pemanca Datuk Jason Tai. — DayakDaily