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By Adrian Lim
KUCHING, March 27: The Sarawak government is seeking more Covid-19 vaccine to be allocated to Sarawak during the visit of Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin to the state on April 1.
Minister for Local Government and Housing Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian said the state government is looking to expedite the Covid-19 vaccination programme next month in efforts to complete the whole programme in August 2021.
Dr Sim added he had called Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba while State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) chairman Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas had also called National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (PICK) coordinating minister Khairy Jamaluddin to obtain more supply of Covid-19 vaccine for the rollout of vaccination in the state.
“When prime minister comes to Sarawak on April 1, the first thing we are going to tell him is we want Covid-19 vaccine. Tell us how because Sarawak’s number is high.
“We want Kuala Lumpur to allocate substantial amount of (Covid-19) vaccine to Sarawak. We will insist on that.
“The Sarawak government is working very hard and multiple of us are working through different channel,” he said during a live streaming session conducted by Kuching South City Council mayor Dato Wee Hong Seng on his Facebook entitled “Shall Wee Talk” today.
He gathered that Malaysia will receive 600,000 doses of the Chinese Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine in April and in second quarter of 2021, the country will also be receiving 3.7 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine from Pfizer-BioNTech.
On the Covid-19 vaccination for teachers, he said the State Education Department has submitted a list comprising teachers who are considered as high risk groups for vaccination to the State Health Department.
On another note, he hoped that more Sarawakians will register for the Covid-19 vaccination programme so that the state government can bargain for more vaccine to be allocated to Sarawak.
In the meantime, Dr Sim said there were more than 9,000 doses of the Chinese Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine being shipped to Sarawak last Wednesday.
He revealed that the 9,000 doses are for young adults frontliners who are healthy.
Dr Sim who is a medical doctor explained that only young adults below the age of 60 and healthy are eligible to be jabbed with the Covid-19 vaccine from Sinovac as those with comorbidities such as diabetes, hypertension and overweight are not suitable to receive the Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine.
On another note, Dr Sim said the state government will continue to maintain the policy for quarantine of foreigners coming into the state, adding that the policy is to protect the lives of Sarawakians.
He said a Chinese national who was vaccinated in China will still be required to undergo a 14-day quarantine upon arrival in Sarawak.
Apart from that, Dr Sim who is also Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) president said the federal government had in principle agreed to allow private healthcare providers in the country to administer the Covid-19 vaccine under phase two and phase three of the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (PICK).
Nonetheless, Dr Sim said the private healthcare providers must have the facilities and the manpower to administer the jab.
Citing examples of people who suffered side effects and allergy after receiving the Covid-19 vaccine, he added the private healthcare providers must be prepared to react fast in order to remedy the situation in case of an emergency.
Hence, he explained that private healthcare providers must be fully equipped with the facilities and the safety aspect of the Covid-19 vaccination before they are allowed to conduct vaccination.
He also added the State Health Department will be expanding the Covid-19 vaccination programme to phase four by including high risk groups in red zones of Covid-19 in Sarawak.
Among those who joined the live session are Wee, Padawan Municipal Council (MPP) chairman Lo Khere Chiang and Sibu Municipal Council (SMC) chairman Clarence Ting. — DayakDaily