THE district offices in Penang have identified several centres for Covid-19 vaccination to be rolled out starting next month.
Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said the district offices had been assigned the task of identifying the centres and they had submitted the list to the state health authorities to be considered.
“The Penang government has been briefed by the state health authorities and the Penang State Secretary has been tasked to coordinate with the health authorities on matters pertaining to the national immunisation programme.
“The state government has to facilitate the programme in terms of getting the halls as well as the facilities ready for the vaccination programme,” Chow said during the ‘Consider This’ programme by Astro Awani.
Chow, however, said that the state and the health authorities were still not engaged on the details of the vaccination programme.
“Details such as logistics requirements and how the programme should be done have not been told by Khairy Jamaluddin, who has been appointed as the minister in charge of Covid-19 immunisation coordination, or his department. The silence is definitely a concern.
“Another concern is whether the Government could achieve the targeted herd immunity by vaccinating up to 85% of the population in Malaysia.
“Right now, we are not too sure whether everyone is willing to be vaccinated. There are people who may not opt for vaccination. This would require immense communication effort by the Government,” Chow said.
He said that vaccination could be the way for the public to return to normalcy.
“However, we have to continue to abide by the standard operating procedures (SOPs) while waiting for the vaccination programme to be completed. The fight against Covid-19 is still on,” he said.
Chow also said that it is hard to strike a balance between lives and livelihood.
“The loosening up of the various socio-economic sectors must come together with the compliance of SOPs,” he said.
Chow said he had brought up the need for the Federal Government to formulate a grand strategy to face the Covid-19 challenges, during a national security council meeting on Covid-19 management some two weeks ago.
Chow said that the Penang government had been working hard to ensure that the public healthcare system is not overwhelmed by the spike in Covid-19 cases.
“We have been working hard to have more low-risk Covid-19 centres (LRCCs). We have just obtained the allocation approval for a 1,000-bed LRCC in south Seberang Perai.
“Our state machinery will be working with the state Health Department to get this new LRCC ready,” he said.
Chow added that the state had launched a campaign recently to remind the people to comply with the SOPs.
“The campaign reminds the public that the Covid-19 is at your doorstep. If there is no movement, there will be no infection,” he said.
Story by Christopher Tan
Pix by Noor Siti Nabilah Noorazis
Video by Ahmad Adil Muhamad