Prioritise residents of nursing homes for Covid-19 vaccination to avoid outbreak, urges Sibu MP

SIBU: The Federal Government has been urged to give vaccination priority to all vulnerable groups here, including old folk of nursing homes.

Sibu MP Oscar Ling said all nursing homes in Kuching have already been vaccinated, but not those here.

"All nursing homes in Sibu still have not been allocated vaccines for old folk under their care," he said in a statement on Tuesday (May 11).

Ling said that is despite the National Covid-19 Vaccination Programme having entered the third phase.

(For the record, the programme is only in its second phase.)

The MP expressed fears of another cluster emerging if the residents of the nursing homes here are not vaccinated soon.

The first cluster involving a nursing home was the Geronggang Cluster in Jalan Geronggang back in February.

The index case was a 77-year-old resident who had tested positive for Covid-19 on Feb 10 through a screening. A total of 40 people were infected with the virus in the cluster.

On Feb 15,10 persons – eight residents and two staff members – from Sibu Benevolent Society tested positive.

Ling said the town cannot afford another round of nursing-home outbreak, as Sibu Hospital is almost reaching its capacity with treating Covid-19 patients.

"With an increasing number of cases in the central zone of Sarawak, especially Selangau, patients there will also be transferred to Sibu Hospital.

"If there is another outbreak in nursing homes, we might face a shortage of ICU beds and even wards to put the patients in," he said.

The admission to Sibu Hospital has reached 200 as at Monday (May 10), and the hospital is currently short of beds to accommodate more patients.

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