Mountain guides and porters get their jabs

First dose: Hajiji (in yellow cap) observing the vaccination of mountain guides and staff at Kinabalu Park in Kundasang.

KOTA KINABALU: Some 200 registered mountain guides and porters have received their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.Their inoculation was conducted at Kinabalu Park in Kundasang on the foothills of Mount Kinabalu.

Mount Kinabalu Mountain Guides Association chairman Danson Bulangai said the mountain guides and porters were glad to finally receive their vaccination while those who had not were eager for their turn.

“We submitted 289 names for this purpose, including some of those who had already registered via the MySejahtera app.

“We hope more doses of the vaccine will be made available soon so that we can all be vaccinated and work towards achieving herd immunity for the sake of our health and economic revival,” Bulangai said after the event yesterday.

Ranau health officer Dr Fionna Vincent Bizini said they were glad that more and more people wanted to get vaccinated.

She advised those who had registered but had yet to be called up for their vaccination to be patient and wait for additional doses to be sent over to Sabah.

Dr Bizini said it was vital that all Sabah Parks staff were fully vaccinated before the tourism industry reopened.

“This is to make sure that the risk of Covid-19 transmission can be minimised as mountain guides and porters as well as related staff deal with tourists and visitors from all around the world,” she added.

Meanwhile, the immunisation programme also saw the Mount Kinabalu Mountain Guides Association receiving a RM30,000 grant from the state Tourism, Culture and Environment Ministry while the Mount Kinabalu Porters Association received RM20,000 from Sabah Parks.

The event was attended by Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor, Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Dr Joachim Gunsalam and other state ministers such as Datuk Jafry Ariffin (Tourism, Culture and Environment), Datuk Yakubah Khan (Science, Technology and Innovation) and Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun (Local Government and Housing).

Hajiji also presented a one-off RM300 assistance to each of the 290 mountain guides at the event.

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