Minister assures parents most nursery, kindergarten staff vaccinated

Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah.

KUCHING: Nurseries and kindergartens in Sarawak are permitted to open on June 29 under strict compliance of Covid-19 standard operating procedures (SOPs).

“These nurseries cater to the children of parents working in essential services such those in the manufacturing, construction, financial services and its chain of supply, municipal and local government services; telecommunication and digital infrastructure, including ICT services, e-commerce, agriculture and commodities, utilities, logistics sectors, among others,” said Sarawak Welfare, Community, Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Minister Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah.

“As of July 7, 418 Children’s Early Education Institutions (IPAKKs) have been permitted to operate while 79 are awaiting approval, with 2,431 educators and babysitters on duty looking after 18,613 children statewide.

“However, institutions that do not choose to open are not compelled to do so, but those that do must obtain authorisation from the ministry as per Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) requirement.”

Fatimah, who is Dalat assemblywoman, emphasised that parents need not worry as 94 per cent of the educators and babysitters had their first dose of vaccine and likely to be fully vaccinated by the end of this week.

“As of Thursday (July 8), 3,601 out of 3,879 educators have received their first dose while 2,243 education assistants have received their first dose.

“For nurseries, 755 out of 803 babysitters have received their first dose while 149 out of 156 babysitting assistants have received their first dose.

“The rest who have yet to receive their vaccine are  pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers.”

She stressed that all IPAKKs would be operating under strict SOP compliance.

“Parents and guardians who send their children are permitted to have a maximum number of child passengers based on vehicle capacity.

“We also check the parents and guardians’ status on their MySejahtera app, and those with ‘Person under Surveillance’ (PUS) and ‘Person under Investigation’ (PUI) status would be prohibited from entering the institutions.

“Parents and children with signs of fever, cough and diarrhoea, or families who are PUS, PUI or close contacts of  Covid-19 patients, must notify the institutions and are not permitted to send their children to the facilities.”

“I’m grateful to SDMC, especially regarding vaccinations for educators and babysitters, as without them, we would not be able to achieved 95 per cent immunity,” she added.