The fundamental cause of the trouble is that in the modern world the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt.— Bertrand Russell, British mathematician
I ask myself this question when seeing the high number of daily Covid-19 vaccinations in Sarawak: Why did I even doubt?
It is the same question that I think most of us have on our minds given the mass vaccine rollout happening in other parts of the nation before June.
At the time, the state was only a mere bystander, seeing the rampant Covid-19 vaccinations with Sarawakians observing their friends and family members receiving the jab in Malaya.
I remember the opposition Facebook pages having a field day making fun of the state leaders in the State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) for saying that we have the capacity to conduct 50,000 vaccinations daily.
To them, it is unthinkable that Sarawak would be able to achieve this, a fact that, I think is probably compounded by their lack of belief in our system.
But sure enough, the state easily administered more than 50,000 vaccine doses a day consistently throughout last month, making good on its promises to do so months earlier.
As of June 30, Sarawak has administered a total of 1,320,738 vaccine doses of which 1,070,727 are first doses and 250,011 are second doses.
It is moments like this to restore the people’s belief in the SDMC and the effectiveness of the state government to work with the resources that it has.
The state, although it is not blessed with the quantity of medical frontliners and the amenities that our counterparts in Malaya has, is able to step up and be counted.
This is evident with the number of vaccination centres (PPV) being set up be it for the public, higher learning institutes or industries.
Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg on Thursday said the state has vaccinated half of its eligible population.
“For Sarawak, on average we have achieved 50 percent Covid-19 vaccination for first dose recipients while for second dose, we have recorded 11.5 percent.
“In total, we are targeting to vaccinate 2.08 million of the state’s population,” he told a press conference.
He continued: “We aim to achieve 80 percent vaccination where the vaccine recipients have received at least their first dose. If we can do this, we can protect our community from the spread of Covid-19.”
In the same presser, SDMC chairman and Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas said Sarawak currently has the capacity to administer about 70,000 vaccine doses a day.
“We also have enough machinery throughout Sarawak from Lundu to Limbang and into the more interior areas.
“We are also assisted by the military’s combat medic team that has supported and complemented our machinery,” he said.
All signs are pointing to the state being on track to achieve 80 percent vaccination of its population by August, and we would be the first to achieve that.
During his visit to Sibu on Wednesday, Abang Johari also told the local media that the number of Covid-19 cases has been reduced following the mass vaccination programme conducted in the past month.
Sarawak on Tuesday registered a dramatic drop in Covid-19 cases to 249 cases from 409 the previous day, the first time it dipped below the 300 mark since April 10.
Unsurprisingly, many were sceptical of this decrease, even to the extent of accusing the SDMC of cooking up the numbers.
Uggah, when prompted for reactions by a local portal following the accusation, expressed disappointment with those who prefer to believe that SDMC is trying to manipulate the daily figure with regards to Covid-19 positive case.
“If we have that intention at all, we would have done it long time ago, when the cases climbed to more than 700. But we did not,” he said and I agreed.
If the numbers were cooked up, why stop at 249? Bring it down to single digits or zero for that matter.
All this brings to another question — do these people want the Covid-19 situation to improve or not?
Are they willing to risk losing lives just so that they can continue to discredit the people who are working hard for us to return to our normal lives? Help me out because I really don’t understand.
In all seriousness, we should listen to health experts who know their stuff and not some smartass on social media.