Critical support during pandemic

Onn Hafiz says the NGO, Southern Volunteers, has 15,000 registered volunteers.

MORE than 530,000 people in Johor have been registered to get vaccinated, thanks to the efforts of non-governmental organisation (NGO) Southern Volunteers within one month after its members were deployed.

Johor tourism, youth and sports committee chairman Datuk Onn Hafiz Ghazi said Southern Volunteers was mobilised not only to assist in terms of registration but also to help smoothen the process of vaccination at all vaccination centres (PPV) in the state.

“The volunteers were deployed on June 10 and as of July 24, we have registered 531,896 people for vaccination.

“To date, more than 91% of the Johor adult population or 2.4 million people have been registered for vaccination,” Onn Hafiz said when contacted.

He said the state government would also be appealing to the Federal Government to help Johor reach its herd immunity target.

“The large number of registration will be in vain if they do not coincide with vaccine supplies, therefore we urge the Federal Government to ensure that the vaccines arrive in Johor as planned.

“Lately, we have been seeing high infection rates not only in Johor but throughout the country, therefore the sooner we get our people vaccinated, the sooner we can reach the herd immunity target,” he added.

Onn Hafiz said there were 44 PPVs in Johor that currently had a capacity of vaccinating 60,000 people a day.

“So within 10 days, we could vaccinate about 600,000 people, or two to three million people a month.”

He disclosed that only 1,000 volunteers were currently active on the ground, from the total 15,000 registered.

“We have to limit their numbers in order to follow standard operating procedures (SOP) and avoid crowding that can lead to potential clusters,” he said.

He added that some volunteers had been assigned to assist other groups of volunteers under Youth and Sports Ministry, through the Malaysia Vaccine Support Volunteers (MyVac) programme.

Meanwhile, Ihsan Johor chief executive officer Farrah Faridah Baptist said her team was in charge of manning the low-risk quarantine and treatment centre (PKRC) at Pasir Gudang Indoor Stadium.

She said they had managed so far because of the trust and donations from the people and private companies that shared their charitable aim to help those in need.

“We are based in Johor Baru with about 100 active members who go out every day to meet people who have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We used to operate only on weekends, but since the start of the pandemic, our volunteer work has become our daily routine,” she said.

She added that their volunteers were usually mobilised once every two days, handing out food aid to the needy all over Johor Baru.

“The news on suicide cases has also motivated us to do more, as we want to help prevent such situations from happening,” said Farrah.

She also said that each of the Ihsan Johor members had sacrificed their time and own money to help people in need.

“Information on us and what we do is available on our Facebook page at Ihsan Johor or Ihsan Johor Rangers.

“Those who wish to donate can do so via our Maybank account at 551203527725 for Ihsan Johor Relief,” she said.

Sharing the same passion for charitable work is Malaysia Relief Agency (MRA) Johor chairman Siti Zubaidah Samat who said she felt uneasy knowing that every day there were people out there in need of help.

The 37-year-old said, “My own experience of facing hardship is driving me to help others.

“There are always people who are less fortunate out there and it is our task as a community to reach out and ease their burden,” she said.

She added that MRA was based in Muar with about 200 active members.

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NGO , Southern Volunteers , PPV , Vaccine , Covid-19 , Pandemic


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