By Karen Bong
KUCHING, July 24: Get vaccinated Sarawakians as data has shown that vaccines are highly effective in preventing serious illnesses, hospitalisations and deaths with Sarawak saw marked reduction in moderate and severe Covid-19 cases under Category 3, 4 and 5 to less than five per cent respectively as well as ICU hospitalisations by 85 per cent.
Minister for Local Government and Housing Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian thus called on the people to not hesitate in getting their vaccine shots in view that Kuching has reported the highest number of Covid-19 cases for the whole year last week stemming from workplaces, lockups, detention centres, longhouses, villages and activities like funerals.
“Furthermore, more Delta variant cases have also been detected in Sarawak in the past two weeks.
“There is a 28 per cent increase in Category 2 (patients with mild symptoms).
“But cases in Category 3 (moderate symptoms like pneumonia), Category 4 (requiring oxygen support) and Category 5 (requiring ventilator to breathe) have continued to decrease to less than five per cent in each category.
“This resulted in ICU (intensive care unit) beds usage to drop below 15 per cent and the numbers of deaths have also reduced significantly,” he said in his Facebook post today.
Dr Sim, who is also State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) advisor, emphasised that the positive outcome could be attributed to the efficacy of the vaccines.
The Ministry of Health (MOH) Crisis Preparedness and Response Centre (CPRC) has recently reported that both Sinovac and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines are efficient in reducing adverse outcomes of Covid-19.
Data shows that the Sinovac vaccine is 65.9 per cent effective against infections, 87.5 per cent against hospitalisations, 90.3 per cent against ICU hospitalisations and 86.3 per cent against deaths, while Pfizer is 64 per cent effective against infections, and 93 percent respectively against hospitalisations and ICU hospitalisations.
Since Sarawak initiated the mass vaccination drive at the end of February this year with aggressive roll-outs in the past two months, he revealed that as of July 22, 79.2 per cent of the eligible adult population in the State has received the first dose, while 51.5 per cent has been fully vaccinated.
“It is inevitable that we will be living with Covid-19 (for a long time) as the virus of less than 18-months-old has been evolving with more variants to come, (but we must be prepared to accept) and adapt to the change in policy and living with some kind of restrictions.
“We must continue (with efforts) to vaccinate every Sarawakians who is eligible.
“(People) must be on high alert and vigilance at all times because everyone can be infected with Covid-19, so we must continue to comply with strict SOP (standard operating procedures) including wearing face masks, physical distancing measures and minimising social activities,” he reminded.
With different Covid-19 virus variants still circulating in the community, Dr Sim advised those who feel unwell or have symptoms to immediately go for testing and check-up at the nearest health clinics or the Covid-19 One Stop Centre at MBKS community hall.
“After that, please isolate yourself until the result is out. Do not go to work or places of worship or any public places or even mixing with family members.
“Early treatment can prevent deaths from Covid-19,” he said.
As Sarawakians have come together this far in the battle against the Covid-19, Dr Sim once again called on every Sarawakian to unify their efforts, uphold the spirit of solidarity and play their roles to get Sarawak out of the crisis and move on to Phase 3 of the National Recovery Plan (NRP).— DayakDaily