PETALING JAYA: The Covid-19 Immunisation Task Force (CITF) has stepped in to allay concerns over the presence of large numbers of vaccine recipients - with the majority being foreigners arriving in large groups - at the vaccination centres (PPVs) in Klang Valley.
"The congestion at PPVs reported in the media yesterday occurred and a significant number of vaccine recipients did not follow their appointed time slots. Many turned up in the morning, even though their appointments are in the afternoon," said CITF in a statement on Thursday (July 29) in response to media reports depicting crowded conditions at some PPVs on Wednesday (July 28).
"CITF will take several measures to ensure the simultaneous arrival of large groups of vaccine recipients - the majority being foreigners - will not recur," added CITF.
It added that the failure of the foreign workers to fill in the forms properly, as well as to download the MySejahtera app, delayed the process.
"Every foreign worker needed more than five minutes to fill their forms, causing congestion at the registration counters. Interpreters were available to help, but it is a time consuming process," said CITF.
Taking into account the need to ensure adequate physical distancing during the Covid-19 pandemic, CITF said it will work with the police to stop vehicles such as buses, coming into Klang Valley with many passengers on board - Malaysians or otherwise - headed towards PPVs.
"Besides this, CITF has also amended the appointment dates for some vaccine recipients to manage the attendance at PPVs in order to overcome language barrier problems for some, as explained earlier," it said.
CITF maintained that following its intervention, the congestion at PPVs on Thursday, especially in the afternoons, has been reduced.
"We are also assessing the need to set aside certain PPVs just to serve foreigners, with streaming according to languages spoken.
"This is so that resources such as interpreters and suitable volunteers can be placed at the right places to smoothen the entire process," said CITF, adding that it is continuously monitoring the situation in order to calibrate its responses accordingly.