Sarawak to remain closed till end of vaccination programme

Ting (sixth right) with Law (fifth right) and the Zone 6 firefighters at the launch of the 'Fat2 Fit challenge’ programme.

MIRI: Sarawak will remain closed to tourists until the vaccination programme is completed.

“At the moment, we will not open, at least until the later part of June, to see how many people will be vaccinated. From there, we’ll move on because other countries are also doing the same,” said Assistant Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture Datuk Sebastian Ting on Monday.

He was met after launching the Fire and Rescue department zone 6 (Bomba) “Fat2 Fit challenge” at Lopeng fire station.

The 61-day challenge programme, which runs from March 1 until May 1, aims to enhance firefighters’ fitness.

At the event, Ting also presented 500 personal protective equipment (PPE), 36 bottles of hand sanitisers and 3,000 face masks to Bomba Zone 6.

The items were received by Zone 6 chief, Supt Law Poh Kiong.

Ting speaking to the local media after the launch of the ‘Fat2 Fit challenge’.

Ting added that the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture had made some preparations to ensure that the state’s tourism sector could return to normal after the vaccination program.

“For the year 2021, we have listed down a total of 115 events in an effort to revive the tourism sector,” he said.

The first batch of Covid-19 vaccines arrived in Malaysia on Sunday morning. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine arrived at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) via Malaysia Airlines (MH604) flight using an Airbus 330-300 aircraft operated by MABkargo Sdn Bhd.

Sarawak is expected to receive the first delivery of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine on Wednesday (Feb 24).

Miri district is expected to receive its first batch of Covid-19 vaccines on March 6.

Ting also revealed that he and Transport Minister, Datuk Lee Kim Shin would be among the first to be vaccinated in the district to boost public confidence in the vaccine’s safety.

“Yes, I volunteered to get vaccinated. As you all know, our Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg will be having his vaccination on Feb 27.  I believe other full ministers and assistant ministers will be vaccinated with him. In Miri, Datuk Lee and I will get our vaccination on March 6,” added the assistant minister.

Sarawak will have a three-phase vaccination programme which is scheduled to be launched on Feb 27.

Ting said the vaccine was the way to move forward because vaccination is meant to protect the people from the infectious disease.