Rural folk benefit from walk-in

Karim Rahman Hamzah

KUCHING: The rural dwellers in Sarawak will benefit from the state government’s decision to allow walk-ins for vaccination even if they have not registered for it.

Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said this took into consideration that many rural folks live far from vaccination centres.

“Our local folks especially those in rural areas are giving their two thumbs-up to the hybrid method of registering people in outstation areas for vaccination through MySejahteraand also manually.

“Thus, they will still be vaccinated if they turn up without first registering through MySejahtera or at the various Resident’s Office,” he said in a blog post last Tuesday.

He was responding to the state government’s decision to allow walk-in inoculation for the rural folk announced by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.

The chief minister on Monday said this will help to speed up and widen the vaccination programme in the state, which is targeted for completion by August.

“Not everyone in rural areas would be able to register (for the vaccine). If they come without registering and want to be vaccinated, we will give it to them so that they don’t have to come back again.

“Their details will be registered afterwards to be entered into the database of those who have been vaccinated. This will expedite the vaccination so that we can complete it by August,” he said.

The suggestion was also lauded recently by Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri James Jemut Masing who noted that it was the right approach to achieve full vaccination within the state’s scheduled time frame.

“This is the correct approach if we want all Sarawakians aged 18 and above to be vaccinated within our scheduled time frame.

“If we only vaccinate people registered under MySejahtera, the rural population will never get vaccinated in time. The internet is almost non-existent in longhouses and kampung,” he said.