Covid-19 cases in Malaysia would have doubled if not for vax programme

KUALA LUMPUR: There could have been more than 10 million Covid-19 cases in Malaysia – twice the current figure – if the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (PICK) was not implemented, says Lukanisman Awang Sauni.

The Deputy Health Minister said the number of hospital admissions and deaths from Covid-19 would also have doubled to 1.51 million and 67,000 respectively compared to the actual number of cases reported by the end of 2022.

"The government successfully managed the Covid-19 pandemic with a multi-pronged approach.

"All ministries and government agencies played an important role in helping to tackle the Covid-19 outbreak," he told the Dewan Rakyat when tabling the White Paper on Covid-19 Vaccine Procurement Management on Thursday (June 8).

Lukanisman added that the procurement of Covid-19 vaccines was among the factors to the country's success in battling the pandemic.

In efforts to speed up procurement of vaccines, he said the Cabinet had agreed to allow the then health minister and the science, technology and innovation minister to negotiate without referring to the Cabinet and finance minister for conditional approval.

The government, through the Special Committee on Covid-19 Vaccine Supply (JKJAV), had targeted to inoculate those 18 and above to achieve herd immunity against the coronavirus as recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

PICK was then expanded to include all segments of the population such as children after the emergence of the Covid-19 Delta and Omicron variants.

Lukanisman also expressed thanks on behalf of the ministry to all parties involved who helped to ensure the people's health was protected and to ensure the country's economy remained productive during the pandemic.

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