A need to forge closer ties in fight against Covid-19


Vaccine recipients waiting for their turn to get vaccinated at SP Arena vaccination centre in Seberang Jaya.

IT is important for the state and federal governments to have good relationship, especially in the battle against Covid-19, said Seberang Jaya assemblyman Dr Afif Bahardin.

He said assistance from the Federal Government was vital since the state had certain restrictions when it comes to managing the pandemic and vaccination programme.

“The focus now is Penang and to enable the state to shift to Phase Three of the National Recovery Plan,” he said, adding that it was also important to accelerate the vaccination programme in the state.

Dr Afif, who was invited to be part of the state’s Covid-19 secretariat, said his role was to facilitate and improve communication between the state and federal governments.

The former state health committee chairman thanked Bukit Mertajam MP Steven Sim for entrusting him to be part of the secretariat, adding that he was invited by Sim after the latter was appointed as the coordinator between the federal and Penang governments on Covid-19 issues.

MRSM Kepala Batas student Mohammad Nizar Mohd Sabir (second left), 15, from Machang Bubok, leaving the vaccination booth after getting his jab. — CHAN BOON KAI/The StarMRSM Kepala Batas student Mohammad Nizar Mohd Sabir (second left), 15, from Machang Bubok, leaving the vaccination booth after getting his jab. — CHAN BOON KAI/The Star

During his visit to the state last month, Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin announced the appointment of Sim as the coordinator after a discussion with Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow and Bagan MP Lim Guan Eng.

He had said the appointment was in keeping with the bipartisan spirit coined by the Prime Minister in managing the pandemic.

On Friday, Dr Afif visited the SP Arena vaccination centre (PPV) in Seberang Jaya on the Penang mainland to witness the walk-in vaccination programme for adolescents aged 12 to 17.

He urged parents to get their children who are eligible for vaccination to visit any nearby PPV so that their children can get vaccinated.

“It has been proven that vaccination can reduce the risk of chronic Covid-19 infection and protect them from infection.”

A Civil Defence Force member giving out registration numbers to vaccine recipients at the centre.A Civil Defence Force member giving out registration numbers to vaccine recipients at the centre.

He also urged those who were sceptical about vaccination to visit any PPV and learn more about the vaccination programme for themselves.

Meanwhile, Dr Afif was tight-lipped on where he would contest in the next general election.

“For now, I will focus on my work to help the people in my state constituency and in Permatang Pauh.

“I will let the party leadership and Perikatan Nasional coalition to decide on the matter,” he said.

The former PKR deputy youth chief was a senior exco member during the Pakatan Harapan-led Penang government when he was forced to resign from his position in the government.

He has since quit PKR and joined Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu).

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