Hamzah: Anti-vaxxer groups hurting herd immunity efforts

PUTRAJAYA: Anti-vaccine campaigns have unsettled the public and are affecting efforts to ensure that herd immunity is achieved, says Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin.

The Home Minister said this was why the government was looking into taking action against anti-vaccine groups.

“It is their individual right not to get vaccinated but their campaigns are causing concern and doubts among the public on whether they should get vaccinated, ” he added.

Hamzah said the government was looking at action to be taken under an ordinance during this Emergency period.

“We are studying data and scientific reports. We want people to be aware of what the anti-vaccine group says and what data actually say.“The aim is to get enough people vaccinated to achieve herd immunity and this should not be derailed, ” he told reporters after inspecting standard operating procedure compliance at a mall yesterday.

As for herd immunity, Hamzah said various activities, including the reconvening of Parliament and large gatherings, could take place once it had been achieved.

“There are groups that want Parliament to open. This is the scenario: when there is a sitting, at least 1,000 people will be there, from MPs and their aides to government officers, Parliament staff and others.“This can create a hotspot (for Covid-19). We want to avoid a cluster at Parliament, ” he said.

He said this was why it was vital that Malaysians got vaccinated and that programmes promoting inoculation were not derailed.

“If everyone gets vaccinated, there will be herd immunity. When that happens, Parliament can be opened and gatherings can take place, ” he said.

The King has proclaimed a state of emergency nationwide from Jan 12 until Aug 1 as a proactive measure to contain the pandemic.

No parliamentary or state assembly meetings, general election, state or by-elections will be held during the Emergency period.

Meanwhile, Hamzah said that with a long weekend kicking off tomorrow, more checks would be done by SOP compliance teams, especially at malls, to ensure that people went out only to get essential items.He said enforcement would be boosted to ensure the effectiveness of the SOP for the ongoing national lockdown that would end on June 14.“I hope to see high compliance among the public as it is important that all of us play our part to flatten the Covid-19 curve, ” he added.

A long weekend is in store as Monday is a public holiday in commemoration of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s birthday.

Hamzah also said more roadblocks would be mounted around Selangor and Kuala Lumpur to check on people’s movements.

“The police reported that there is still high traffic at certain stretches. We want to ensure that those who leave their homes are doing so only for important matters, ” he said.

On Thursday, 930 roadblocks were mounted nationwide and nearly 90,000 checks conducted.

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