Covid-19 vaccination prepares Kinabalu mountain guides to receive tourists

RANAU: Mount Kinabalu staff, especially mountain guides, described the vaccination programme for the group as a step towards preparing them to receive tourists in the new normal.

One of the guides, Suzana Bulangai, 48, said vaccination was very important, not only to protect themselves from the Covid-19 infection but also important for tourists who will be brought to climb Mount Kinabalu later.

“As there is a risk of (Covid-19) infection, this vaccine is very important for protection,” she said to Bernama after the vaccination programme, on Thursday.

At the programme, organised by Sabah Parks (TTS) in collaboration with the Ranau health office in Taman Kinabalu, Kundasang, about 300 individuals comprising mountain guides, porters and other TTS employees received Covid-19 vaccine injections. Some 60 healthcare personnel involved in the vaccination process.

Another mountain guide, Ehing Sakumbang, 47, thanked TTS for the effort as it made it easier for those involved in the tourism sector to get vaccinated as soon as possible.

“This is a good initiative because it is our preparation before the climbing activities reopen, and at the same time we can protect ourselves from the Covid-19 infection,” Ehing said.

The same view was also shared by Japarin Ginsos, 43, who said the initiative taken by TTS was very appropriate, especially as it is understood that only mountain guides who received vaccines were allowed to continue their work when climbing activities resumed.

“I received an appointment call a week earlier. Although there was a feeling of nervousness at first because of the fear of needles, soon the feeling dissipated because I was happy and excited to receive the vaccine shot,” Japarin said.

Another mountain guide, Abdul Hasinin Kasim, 49, welcomed the group vaccination programme for mountain guides as it was a good way to ensure none of them was left out from receiving the vaccine jabs. – Bernama