More than 2,000 tourism industry players to receive second dose

Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah visited the ACS vaccination centre. Photo: Ghazali Bujang

KUCHING: A total of 2,001 tourism industry players will receive their second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine at the Association of Churches Sarawak (ACS) here from July 15 to 18.

On Thursday (July 15), a total of 315 tourism industry players received their second dose at the centre while today (July 16), 431 received theirs. Today (July 17), an estimated 600 is expected to receive the second dose.

Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah today (July 16) visited the centre to monitor the progress of the vaccination exercise.

The ACS vaccination centre is the first Tourism Sector Industrial Covid-19 Vaccination Centre (PPVIN) opened in the country.

It was initiated by the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture Sarawak (MTAC) in collaboration with the federal Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (Motac), Sarawak Tourism Federation (STF), Ministry of Health of Malaysia (MOH) and Timberland Medical Centre.

Abdul Karim described the PPVIN as a success and that he was happy to see the smooth operation of the centre.

“I’m very proud of this collaboration as it will make it possible to get those in the industry vaccinated.

”Hopefully by doing this, we will be able to meet what the state government has been trying to do, which is to get as many people as possible to be vaccinated,” he added.

Abdul Karim expressed confidence that with the aggressive efforts of the state government and relevant government department and agencies and other organisations in the vaccination exercise, the state would enter the third phase of the National Recovery Plan (NRP) by the end of August.

This would also mean the state would be able to reactivate the tourism industry and other events by the fourth quarter of the year, he added.

“We are looking to open up the tourism industry by the end of the year. However, it depends on the situation. We hope it would further improve by then.

“At this time, with the emergence of the Delta variant and other variants as well, there are things that are beyond our control,” he said.

Nevertheless, Abdul Karim reassured that once the situation permits, the tourism industry could take off much earlier.

“One thing I can say is that the virus is here to stay and it cannot be totally eradicated.

“If people have been vaccinated, then they do not have to be overly worried about it. Therefore, it is important to get the people vaccinated, to get their immune system strong and be able to fight Covid-19,” he said.

Once the vaccination exercise reaches 80 percent heard immunity, Sarawak would be a safe place for people to travel to, he added.

Also present with Abdul Karim were MTAC permanent secretary Hii Chang Kee, Sarawak Tourism Board chief executive officer Sharzede Salleh Askor, Business Event Sarawak acting chief executive officer Amelia Roziman and Motac Sarawak director Suriya Charles Buas.