Free Covid-19 vaccine for all Sarawakians, Swak govt to foot bill for all costs involved

Abang johari (4th right) giving away financial aid to a recipient in a symbolic Bantuan Khas Sarawakku Sayang (BKSS) Presenting Ceremony today (Dec 23, 2020).

By Karen Bong

KUCHING, Dec 23: Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg announced that the Sarawak government will foot the bill for Covid-19 vaccine for all Sarawakians.

He pointed out that the unit price for the vaccine which consisted of two doses is expected to be RM77 each and excluded the cost of transportation.

“The vaccine needed to be transported in a special refrigerated containers kept at below 70 Degree Celsius.  

“This is the cost which we still have no idea but the State government is prepared and has decided to absorb whatever cost which we will face (including logistic),” he addressed a  symbolic ceremony to present Bantuan Khas Sarawakku Sayang (BKSS) at Majma Mall here today.

Reiterating that the State government cares for the health and wellbeing of the people, Abang Johari reassured that once the vaccines are available, it will be given to all Sarawakians for free.

“As to who should get the vaccine first, we leave that to SDMC (State Disaster Management Committee) to decide as normally the healthcare frontliners would receive it first before ordinary citizen,” he said.

While waiting for the vaccines, he added the State government will continue to protect Sarawak by implementing strict standard operating procedures (SOP) on arrivals for both Sarawakians and non-Sarawakians, into the State in which they must observe 14-days compulsory quarantine.

To date, Abang Johari revealed that the State government had spent about RM100 million on this in order to contain and prevent the Covid-19 transmission in Sarawak.

“We put the health of our people as priority and that’s why the State government is bearing the costs of accommodation and food for Sarawakians.

“No other states (in Malaysia) is doing this but Sarawak because we give serious attention to the health of our people and as such, quarantine is still being observed until today,” he added.

Nevertheless, Abang Johari urged all Sarawakians to remain vigilant during the upcoming festive holiday season by taking good care of each other and Sarawak.

“We can celebrate Christmas but in small and private gathering as well as observe physical distancing to prevent the spike of cases.

“Hopefully, there will be no more Covid-19 next year so that we can all lead a normal life again,” he added.

Minister of Local Government and Housing Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, Minister of Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah, Assistant Minister of Law, State-Federal Relations and Project Monitoring Datuk Sharifah Hasidah Sayeed Aman Ghazali and Deputy State Secretary (Socio-Economy Transformation) Dato Seri Mohammad Abu Bakar Marzuki were among those present.— DayakDaily