BAU: Sarawak is now the leading state in Malaysia in terms of the most number of frontliners already vaccinated, said Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) chairman Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas.
“This indicates that our programme, arrangement, and machineries on the ground are efficient and effective,” he said.
Uggah, who is also Deputy Chief Minister, said Sarawak’s success in vaccinating more than 13,000 frontliners so far had earned praise from Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin.
He said Khairy, who is the coordinating minister for the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme, expressed his admiration during a Zoom meeting on Tuesday.
Uggah said Sarawak had publicised its vaccination masterplan a month earlier than other states.
“That is why you can see our billboards throughout the state urging people to go for the vaccination. Our Resident and District Offices have been campaigning actively for the vaccination and registering our people,” he said.
Uggah said this when met by reporters after visiting the Kampung Tringgus Covid-19 enhanced movement control order (EMCO) operation room here on Wednesday.
Accompanied by Serembu assemblyman Miro Simuh and Deputy State Secretary Datuk Ik Pahon Joyik, he was briefed by medical officer in charge Dr Winnie Johnnie.
Uggah said Phase 2 of the programme was expected to commence next month but added this would depend on the supply of vaccines from Kuala Lumpur (KL).
He said the second phase would be a very massive and complex exercise as it would involve vaccinating some two million consenting and eligible Sarawakians, expatriates, as well as legal and illegal foreign workers. He said it would be a problem if the latter were not vaccinated.
“We have told KL of our plan and target to complete our vaccination programme by this August. But then again, our plan and target depend on the supplies we get.
“To this end, our Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg has set aside funds for us to buy the vaccines if the supply is going to be an issue. SDMC is discussing this with the State Vaccination Advisory Group,” he said.
Uggah said this group, led by Datuk Dr Andrew Kiyu of Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas), was in talks with expert groups in KL on details and information of vaccines.
“They will, at the same time, explain the vaccines’ efficacy and effectiveness. We want the experts to do this because, as politicians, we have no locus standi to do so,” he said.
On the vaccination plan for Bau District, he said more than 20,000 (40 pecent) of its population had registered to be vaccinated.
He appealed to those who had not yet registered to come forward so that proper arrangements could be made and they would not be left out.
On the 14-day EMCO which began on Mar 8 at Kampung Tringgus, he said it involved 760 people from 186 families in three villages.
“I understand that Miro is ensuring that the requirements of the people are well taken care of,” he said.