Vaccinating trishaw riders to achieve herd immunity in Penang

With tourism at a standstill once again, many trishaw riders in Penang have struggled to make an income. — ZHAFARAN NASIB/The Star

Getting trishaw riders in Penang vaccinated would be important as the island state ramps up efforts to reach herd immunity against Covid-19.

State tourism and creative economy committee chairman Yeoh Soon Hin said the majority of riders are senior citizens who are not technologically-savvy, which may delay their vaccination.

“My office is engaging the trishaw riders to facilitate their vaccination registration and to explain the importance of getting jabbed. We understand that not everyone has the privilege and access to gadgets and information, especially vulnerable communities, ” Yeoh said in a statement.

It was recently reported that most Penang trishaw riders have registered for Covid-19 vaccination and are looking forward to it.

However, some aged trishaw riders who lack information are concerned about the vaccines.

Trishaw riders, one of the most iconic symbols of Penang, have been deeply impacted by the pandemic.

With tourism at a standstill once again, many have struggled to earn a living.

Yeoh said he will continue to engage with trishaw riders and provide necessary assistance.

“These trishaw riders are one of Penang’s tourism icons and have contributed to our vibrant tourism landscape. They remain of paramount importance to the state government and we will do our best to look after their welfare, ” he said.

Yeoh added that initiatives would be taken to rejuvenate and rebrand the image of trishaw riders.

These efforts, he said, is aimed at generating mass interest towards trishaw riders to ensure a sustainable growth in the industry.

Meanwhile, hoteliers in Penang have requested priority be given for the tourism industry members to be vaccinated.

Malaysia Association of Hotels Penang Chapter chairman K. Raj Kumar, in an interview, said at least 30% of the hotel staff should be vaccinated for a start.

He added that hoteliers in the state are also keen for Penang to be one of the spots to be considered for an inter-state tourism bubble.“We heard of plans for Langkawi to be made one of the pilot areas for the tourism bubble programme and we hope Penang could be listed as well. Penang is also a tourist spot and I believe it is one of the top three tourism spots in the country.

“As such, if there are plans to restart tourism, Penang should be given consideration by the government, ” he said.

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