Covid-19: Vaccination rollout, pandemic efforts to continue as planned, say ministries

PETALING JAYA: The Covid-19 vaccination programme and efforts to manage the pandemic will continue as planned, said the Health Ministry and the Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry (Mosti).

In a joint statement, the secretaries-general of both ministries gave their assurance that efforts to steer the country out of the Covid-19 health crisis will proceed as before.

The statement comes amid persistent political uncertainties following the resignation of Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin as prime minister on Monday (Aug 16) as well as his Cabinet members.

“The Health Ministry will continue implementing strategic measures that have already been planned in order to optimise the public healthcare services in the whole country while facing the Covid-19 pandemic.

“In the Klang Valley, the Greater Klang Valley Special Task Force will continue its focus on logistical efforts, the Covid-19 Assessment Centres, home quarantine, and ensuring the proper functioning of a social support system for frontliners,” they said in the statement on Wednesday (Aug 18).

They also said that the Covid-19 National Immunisation Programme (PICK) headed by Mosti is on the right track to achieve the targeted population-level immunity by October.

“As at Aug 16, the proportion of the adult population in Malaysia that has completed their vaccination reached 47.2% while more than 73% have received at least one dose.

“To date, more than 28 million vaccine doses have been administered in Malaysia. The vaccination momentum remains consistent where 501,776 doses were given on Aug 16,” they said.

Several states and territories such as Sarawak, Negri Sembilan, Melaka, Labuan, Perlis, and the Klang Valley have at least 40% of their adult population vaccinated, which is a criteria for moving into Phase Three of the National Recovery Plan.

Another five states including Penang, Terengganu, Perak, Pahang, and Kedah have reached vaccination rate of 30 to 39%, while only three states Kelantan, Johor, and Sabah have about 20 to 29% of their adult population vaccinated.

“Even so, taking into account the schedule of the vaccine delivery this month, all states are targeted to meet the threshold vaccination rate by the end of August,” they said.

They added that the ministries have also secured the procurement of various Covid-19 vaccines which are Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Sinovac, with 33,879,979 doses distributed for vaccination purposes as of Aug 16.

The Covid-19 vaccines, they added, have been effective in bringing down infection rates and reducing the number of severe Covid-19 cases.

“Out of 19,740 new cases reported on Aug 16, only 1.5% of the cases are classified as Categories 3 to 5, which are those who need close medical attention due to lung infection, and oxygen and ventilator requirements.

“The majority of daily cases (85.13%) belong to Categories 1 and 2, which are those who do not have symptoms or have light symptoms.

“After the implementation of Operation Surge Capacity in the Klang Valley, there has been a decrease in hospital admissions and bed usage at the ICU.

“At Hospital Tengku Ampuan Rahimah (HTAR) in Klang, the number of daily patient admissions dropped by 50% since a week ago.

“We see the same in Pahang, where the numbers of those in Categories 3, 4, and 5 have started to drop,” they said.

Daily cases, they said, have also seen a drop in Sarawak and Labuan as a result of high vaccination coverage, with Labuan recording zero cases on Aug 14.

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