SDMC urged to set up information portal on vaccine and vaccination

Audry highlighting the issues and concerns faced by tourism players during the webinar organised by Sarawak Business Federation (SBF) today. The screenshot is taken from SBF’s Facebook page.

By Adrian Lim

KUCHING, Feb 24: The State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) has been called to set up an information portal on the vaccine and the importance of vaccination to educate the public and rural folks.

Sarawak Tourism Federation (STF) president Audry Wan Ullok believed that the move is important to counter any misperception about vaccination and the benefits of vaccine to the public.

“SDMC should set up an information portal to really counter this information and spread on social media about the vaccine.

“Perhaps go on the ground especially in rural areas to educate our rural folks about Covid-19.

“We have seen in the past couple of days a lot of super spreaders which have started from events like a funeral in the villages and a lot of time, the rural folks are not really aware of the standard operating procedures (SOPs)

“We need to make sure that we go to the ground and educate them about it,” she said.

Audry has highlighted the feedback and concerns from some of the tourism players during a webinar organised by the Sarawak Business Federation (SBF) today.

She noted that most of the rural folks have yet to register for Covid-19 vaccination.

On another note, Audry pointed out that it is important for airline crews to be vaccinated.

The rationale was to bring confidence to the public for travelling post-Covid-19.

Audry gathered that the tourism sector was one of the economic sectors that were impacted the most during Covid-19.

Citing comments from Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, she said tourist arrivals dropped by 74 per cent in 2020 due to travel restrictions and reduced flight frequencies arising from measures to curb the spread of Covid-19.

Sarawak recorded over 1 million tourist arrivals in 2020 as compared to 4.6 million tourist arrivals in 2019.

Audry noted tourist receipts for Sarawak has also plummeted by 75 per cent to RM2.88 billion in 2020 from RM11.57 billion in 2019.

She disclosed that the tourism sector workforce accounted for 19.1 per cent of the economy or 240,000 people comprised of the tour bus driver, tour guides, hoteliers and so on.

Among those who joined the webinar include Minister for Local Government and Housing Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian, SBF deputy president Datuk Philip Ting, Sarawak Bumiputera Entrepreneur Chambers (DUBS) chairman Datu Abang Helmi Ikhwan, Sarawak Economic Planning Unit director Dr Muhummad Abdullah Zaidel and Borneo Medical Centre board of management chairman Dr John Chew.—DayakDaily