Panel releases guidelines on frontliner definition

PETALING JAYA: Guidelines for the definition of frontliners in the immunisation programme have been released following public complaints that there were individuals “jumping the queue” to get vaccinated.

The Special Vaccine Supply Access Guarantee Committee (JKJAV), in a statement, affirmed that the vaccines would be prioritised for frontliners and not for anyone who jumped the queue.

“The government does not give priority to any individuals who are not in these frontliner categories to receive the vaccine first.

“The JKJAV has also agreed for a sub-committee to be set up to identify and process applications from various organisations such as government agencies, private companies, associations and NGOs to receive the vaccination.

“Risk assessment framework for phases 2 and 3 is being discussed, so that the issue of the vaccination queue can be conducted transparently and fairly, ” it added.

Under the guidelines, frontliners are divided into two categories.

Under category one, frontliners are those who are involved directly in providing medical treatment to patients, and they encompass healthcare workers from institutions under the Health Ministry, Defence Ministry, teaching hospitals and private hospitals.

In category two, frontliners are individuals from the healthcare, defence, security and essential services sectors.

They include general practitioners, private dentists, traditional and complementary medicine practitioners and staff of registered private laboratories.

They also include security personnel, social welfare officers, Customs Department officers, contractors under the Health Ministry (such as cleaning services staff and security personnel) and haemodialysis service operators.

Teachers from primary and secondary schools with more than one chronic health illness or who have various comorbidities will also be considered under category two.

Cabinet ministers, state executive council members, Members of Parliament, assemblymen and officers who are involved in official overseas visits of Cabinet ministers are also listed as category two recipients.

Meanwhile, the number of new Covid-19 infections continues to see a decline as Malaysia recorded 1,828 new infections yesterday.

This is the lowest number of new infections since the country previously recorded 1,924 new cases on Feb 25, when the numbers dip below 2,000 in over a month.

Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah also said Johor recorded the highest number of new infections with 490 cases (26.8%), followed by Selangor with 453 cases (24.8%) and Sarawak with 220 cases (12%).

Five more people have also died due to the disease, with the death toll rising to 1,135.

The country has also discharged 2,486 Covid-19 patients, making the number of total recoveries to 275,903.

Currently, 198 patients are in intensive care, with 90 requiring ventilator support.

Seven new Covid-19 clusters were also identified, one of which involved an aged care home in Sentul, Kuala Lumpur.

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