PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia’s Covid-19 focus will now move away from the Klang Valley to five other states that are facing a surge in infections.
Sabah, Johor, Kedah, Penang and Kelantan will receive boosts in terms of vaccine supply and human resources in an effort to bring their Covid-19 numbers down, said Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin.
He said the ministry would be using its experience with Operation Surge Capacity that had helped keep cases under control in the Greater Klang Valley.
“The ministry will be putting an immediate effort that requires a sense of urgency to ensure that Covid-19 transmission in these states can be curbed as soon as possible.
“We saw how the establishment of the Greater Klang Valley Task Force and Operation Surge Capacity managed to keep the infection in the Klang Valley under control.
“We will bring the same level of focus and intensity to Sabah, Johor, Kedah, Penang and Kelantan which are facing an uptick in cases.
“The vaccination programme in these states will be ramped up. The ministry will also transfer assets and human resources from other states that require them less, in order to support these five states,” he said in his first press conference as Health Minister yesterday.
Khairy said the ministry’s target in these states will be to reduce the number of daily cases, hospitalisations, critical cases, and deaths.
“This will in turn help reduce the overall Covid-19 numbers in the country,” he said.
Vaccine supplies will be prioritised for the five states, with Sabah set to receive 2.9 million doses this month.
Johor is set to receive 1.9 million doses, Kedah (1.3 million), Kelantan (1.2 million) and Penang (one million).
Khairy said the ministry would also be increasing its Covid-19 testing in these states in view of the high infection rates and low vaccination coverage.
“Most of the states are recording positive rates of more than 10%. While we always emphasise the importance of testing, we will still go for a targeted approach in order to get better yield,” he said.
He added that the private sector could help by getting their employees tested.
“We want companies to help us out as well. We cannot just rely on the government to do Covid-19 testing,” he said.
He also said Malaysia reported no deaths caused by Covid-19 vaccines since the start of the vaccination rollout.
The National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency had received only a small number of reports classified as “adverse events following immunisation (AEFI)”, he added.
“The rate of overall AEFI reports received is 0.53 per 1,000 doses. Out of this, 0.04 per 1,000 dose reports were categorised as serious AEFI.
“The majority of serious cases only required a short period of hospitalisation for observation and treatment.
“No deaths in the country have shown a direct link to vaccinations,” said Khairy.