Need to step up vaccine rollout

THE only way to stem the spread of Covid-19 in Penang and Kedah is to further ramp up the vaccination process in both states, say state health committee chairmen.

Penang health committee chairman Dr Norlela Ariffin said vaccination was the only way to reduce infection among the public.

“But this must be followed by a two weeks’ grace period to gain full immunisation.

“That is the one key way. Get two doses of vaccination and two weeks of grace period after that,” she said.

Dr Norlela said in an effort to increase vaccination among Penangites, she had asked the Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry (Mosti) to decentralise the MySejahtera appointment arrangement during a Covid-19 Immunisation Task Force (CITF) meeting on Thursday.

“There are many people in Penang who still did not get their appointment date although they have registered from February.

“Let us manage the appointment in MySejahtera because we know which place that recorded high positive cases,” she said, adding she would also organise several outreach and walk-in vaccination programmes at hot zones in the state.

Penang hit an all-time high of 1,022 positive cases on Thursday after recording hundreds of cases daily since Monday.

Meanwhile, Kedah health and local government committee chairman Datuk Dr Mohd Hayati Othman said vaccinations were the only way to curb the infection from spreading to the public.

He said it was important that the people in Kedah get vaccinated as soon as possible so that the positive cases in the state can be reduced.

“Immunisation is the only way to reduce infection among the people. We have to get them vaccinated.

“The state government is doing all it can to increase immunisation by opening more vaccine dispensing centres (PPV) throughout the state,” he said.

Dr Mohd Hayati said another measure that the state was taking was increasing the awareness of standard operating procedures (SOP) among the public in an effort to curb the pandemic.

He said there were still many people in the state who did not take the SOP seriously and often let their guard down during the National Recovery Plan (NRP) phases.

“Many still dared to violate the SOP that has been mandated on them by attempting to cross districts and states, and gathering in crowds.

“They do not realise that with only a single case, it can infect the whole community, which we are currently facing now,” he said.

Dr Mohd Hayati said adhering to the SOP was of paramount importance, adding that at the same time, the state government would expedite its immunisation programme throughout the state.

He advised those with Covid-19 symptoms to undergo screening and control themselves by not going out.

Kedah continued to record a high number of positive cases on Thursday with 1,446 infections.

The highest number was recorded on Aug 1 with 1,511 cases and 10 deaths. The positive cases, however, dropped to 1,108 on Monday and 1,036 on Tuesday.

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