Masing: Hasten vaccination for townsfolk, business owners first to break chain of infection in rural areas

File photo depicting a dose of a Covid-19 vaccine being prepared. Photo source: Flickr, Creative Commons License

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KUCHING, June 4: Those dwelling and doing business in towns, bazaars and settlements in more remote parts of Sarawak should be given priority to receive the Covid-19 vaccine to prevent the spread of the virus in rural areas.

Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing, in saying this, also advocated that the frontliners serving in public sectors such as hospitals and schools as well as those in private clinics must also be on the priority list of the Covid-19 vaccine.

“Please get those in and around towns and larger settlements like Kapit town, Song bazaar, Belaga bazaar, Sungai Asap resettlement schemes vaccinated first. Only then businesses (in rural towns and settlements) can slowly open up.

“These larger settlements do and have created (Covid-19) clusters and will spread to rural areas,” said Masing in a statement today.

The Infrastructure and Port Development Minister said that to contain Covid-19 in Sarawak, the spread of the virus in rural areas needs to contained and brought under control first.

“If we can contain the virus in towns and bigger settlements by cutting the chain of infection to rural areas, we have a better chance of containing the virus.

“So get them (rural town dwellers, businessmen and frontliners) vaccinated first, so that when rural people go to do their purchases (in rural towns and bazaars), they will not get infected,” said Masing, who is also Baleh assemblyman.

He believed that vaccinations for those in rural longhouses and villages should only come after the vaccination of the town dwellers and businessmen.

“In doing this (rural) vaccination exercise, all buildings must be utilised — school halls, clinics, government offices — all of them must be opened as vaccination centers.

“This is an emergency, therefore, all agencies must come and assist. We are at war against the coronavirus. Tough times require tough measures,” said Masing. — DayakDaily