Resort in Tioman turned into vaccination centre

Patients awaiting their turn as wheechair-bound Zalina, (right), gets her shot from a nurse. — Bernama

A resort in Pulau Tioman was turned into a Covid-19 vaccination centre (PPV) with over 90 villagers from Kampung Salang receiving their first dose.

Salang Pusaka Resort director Abdul Khalid Mohamad said he was approached by officers from the Tioman Development Authority (LPT).

He said the LPT had sought permission to use the resort, which he had been operating since 1991, as a PPV.

The resort was deemed a suitable location as it was in the village’s central point and not far from the jetty, he said, noting that it had a seminar hall and a large compound to accommodate many people.

“I did not have to think twice in agreeing to it, ” he said, adding that the resort had not received any guests since October.

Abdul Khalid also allowed the government staff managing the PPV to use some of the rooms in the resort to rest.

He said this was his small contribution in assisting the government to battle the Covid-19 pandemic in the village, where many of the residents were his relatives.

Pulau Tioman vaccination programme coordinator Dr Ahmad Hafiz Mohamad said a total of 20 health personnel had arrived at the resort in the morning and stayed for almost six hours to administer the vaccine to villagers.

He added that they also administered the vaccine on two patients at their homes, one of whom had health problems while the other was bedridden.

Meanwhile, the setting up of the PPV in the village was welcome news to housewife Zalina Mohd Abidin, 55, who uses a wheelchair.

Both her legs were amputated as a result of diabetic complications in 2018.

She was worried that her vaccination appointment would be at the nearest health clinic in Kampung Tekek, which was either a 20-minute speedboat ride or a much longer ferry journey to Rompin.

“After receiving news that nurses would be here to administer the jab, I asked my husband to immediately register our names, ” said Zalina.

Restaurant operator Arman Ariffin, 49, said the arrival of three boats carrying health workers and the vaccines was a welcome sight.

“The roaring sounds of the boat engines was even more thrilling as it had been a long time since we had visitors to the island because tourism activities were impacted by the pandemic.”

Arman, who has lived on the island for 29 years, hoped the situation would return to normal soon so that Kampung Salang, known for its beautiful beach and scuba diving, could open its doors to tourists again.

“Weekends used to be a busy time for us with domestic and foreign tourists here.

“But it has been quiet for many months and we have been dipping into our savings and looking at whatever aid we can get to survive, ” he said. — Bernama

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