Economy to fully reopen after herd immunity

Abang Johari visits the vaccination centre at UCTS

SIBU: The Sarawak government will consider reopening the economy when herd immunity to Covid-19 is achieved this August.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said herd immunity would be achieved when 80 percent of the state’s population had received the jabs.

“But what is important after that is for us to be disciplined as our lives are now different — we have to use face masks, take care of our hygiene and look after ourselves,” he told a press conference here today.

Earlier, Abang Johari visited the industrial vaccination centre (PPVIN) at University College of Technology Sarawak (UCTS).

He said herd immunity had been the Sarawak government’s target when it emphasised  expediting the vaccine rollout in the state.

“The moment we have herd immunity, we are protected, meaning the spread of Covid-19 will be reduced as we have the needed antibodies.

“That is also why we stressed the matter to Putrajaya; we said we wanted the vaccination programme (in Sarawak) to be completed first,” he said.

Abang Johari pointed out that Sibu was on track to achieving herd immunity in the middle or third week of August.

“If we are able to achieve herd immunity in August, the economy will reopen as the people are protected. It will not be just the coffeeshops but the markets as well,” he said.

The chief minister also thanked the Sibu Disaster Management Committee for its efforts to curb Covid-19 as well the medical professionals and the private hospitals for their roles in expediting the vaccine rollout.

“I thank the people of Sibu for their response to the vaccine rollout as they have volunteered to come forward to receive the Covid-19 vaccines.

“I also thank all Sarawakians including those from the longhouses or in interior areas like Ba’kelalan, Long Semadoh and Betong for getting vaccinated”