Call to speed up jabs for council employees


(From right) Dr Amal Pritpal and Jagdeep watching Khor Sooi Han, 76, undergo a swab test at Dewan Chong Kuang in Sungai Bakap.

THE Penang government hopes that the Federal Government will look into expediting the vaccination exercise for employees of the Penang Island City Council (MBPP) and Seberang Prai City Council (MBSP).

State local government committee chairman Jagdeep Singh Deo said to date only 1,639 employees from MBPP and 440 employees from MBSP have received their appointments while the remaining 1,265 from MBPP and 1,216 from MBSP have yet to get their appointments.

He said both the city council employees, especially those who work on the ground, are exposed to risks daily and should be vaccinated without any delay.

“We hope the Health Ministry will look into this without any further delay,” he urged.

Jagdeep also said that there are 29 public markets under MBPP’s jurisdiction with a total of 2,042 traders.

Of this figure, 1,203 traders have yet to be vaccinated while the MBSP which has 30 public markets under its jurisdiction with a total of 3,316 traders, has 2,654 traders who are yet to be inoculated.

He noted that the employees of both the local authorities and traders are vulnerable groups who are at risk of being infected.

Jagdeep was speaking to reporters after visiting the Penang Covid-19 mass screening programme at Dewan Chong Kuang, Sungai Bakap near Nibong Tebal on Saturday.

Also present were Penang State Assembly deputy speaker Datuk Dr Amar Pritpal Abdullah, who is also Sungai Bakap assemblyman, MBSP mayor Datuk Rozali Mohamud, Jawi assemblyman H’ng Mooi Lye, Bukit Tambun assemblyman Goh Choon Aik and south Seberang Prai OCPD Supt Lee Chong Chern.

Meanwhile, Rozali thanked the state Health Department for increasing the vaccination rate for MBSP’s Orange Heroes (Wira Oren).

Commenting further, he said up till July 30, a total of 1,650 Orange Heroes had been vaccinated.

“These Orange Heroes face risks daily as they collect rubbish and clean the environment in Seberang Prai,” he said.

He noted that there were 98 positive Covid-19 infections involving the Orange Heroes, out of which 36 of them are still positive.

“This resulted in them not being able to work and has affected duties such as the frequency of cleaning and rubbish collection.

“We take this problem seriously, because when there are not enough staff to carry out tasks out in the field, this will affect the environment.

“The well-being of the community is also affected because when the environment is not clean, it could lead to cases of dengue, chikungunya and so on,” he added.

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