The roadmap to recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic for this country is within reach and ostensibly realistic if the government’s ongoing measures and ramping up of the National Covid-19 Vaccination Programme are anything to go by.
All the positive signs are there, except for the infectivity rate which is still unpredictable. But at the rate the Perikatan Nasional government is going with all its plausible, concrete plans and strategies, the probability of us returning to normalcy following the vaccination roll-out seems contiguous and close at hand.
The post-Covid-19 exit plan encompassing strategies in preparation for the country to emerge from this war is being drafted by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and this is such good news that is long-awaited for by the public.
After more than a year of being hit by this deadly virus, there is nothing more comforting and heart-warming than listening to such gratifying news, which hopefully can spur and motivate everyone residing in this country to continue playing their respective roles to ensure that the government's vaccination target of 80% of the population by year-end can be achieved.
The number of people vaccinated has surpassed 4.4 million and with the number of daily vaccine doses set to be given at 300,000 per day starting next month, it seems like nothing can slow down the ramping up of the vaccination roll-out.
Of course, it will be an uphill challenge for us to emerge out of this pandemic, but with unity, support and cooperation from every single individual in this country, we can make it. Together, we can fight the odds.
The National Recovery Plan will be very detailed as Muhyiddin said it would be based on data, science and all the preparations that had been carried out - including in terms of Covid-19 management, the economy and others - before they are presented to the National Security Council.
There are already signs of decline in the infectivity rate, probably due to the ramping up of the vaccination programme.
The opening of more vaccination centres to make sure that every single individual would come under the vaccination system, the opening of more mega vaccination centres, the drive-through programme and the mobile vaccination programme are among the strategic plans and collaborative efforts between the relevant ministries and agencies, set to take us all to the next phase of recovery and beyond.
Additionally the special "jab first, register later" arrangement for people living in remote outlying areas with no internet connection, no MySejahtera app and no handphones is most lauded as this means that no one will be left behind. This is a boon for rural dwellers who can be reached by medical personnel and vaccinators despite the rugged terrain and strong, swift waters.
News of people in some countries no longer having to wear face masks, able to stroll freely in public parks, dine in restaurants to a certain extent, make us envious and covetous. How we wish we could be like them, how we wish we could turn back the clock and return to pre-pandemic days inhaling fresh air without a face mask!
Have you ever felt so utterly lost in life? With the Perikatan Nasional government, all is not lost. Additional aid and assistance provided to the rakyat and businesses via various measures including the more than RM600 billion economic stimulus packages - the latest being the RM40 billion Pemerkasa Plus - have helped ease the difficulties faced by people to a great extent.
The government recently announced Pemerkasa Plus with an additional allocation of RM2.1 billion for financial aid under the Bantuan Prihatin Rakyat (BPR) to continue helping those in need. To date, the government has paid a total of RM4.6 billion to some 8.4 million BPR recipients from the B40 group early this year. Payments from the government under Phase 3 of the initiative is said will be made in September.
Muhyiddin has said time and again that the Perikatan government will continue its people-friendly agenda and support the business community. All these are representations of its never-ending commitment to boost the capacity and strength of public healthcare system and to safeguard the lives and livelihoods of the people while fighting this uphill battle against Covid-19
Nur Zarifah Faiqah Azman
Bukit Antarabangsa, Ampang.