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State gov’t mulling new category for residents in Covid-19 outbreak zones as priority for vaccination, says Dr Sim
Posted on : 28 Mar 2021  Source of News: https://www.theborneopost.com/2021/03/28/state-govt-mulling-new-category-for-residents-in-covid-19-outbreak-zones-as-priority-for-vaccination-says-dr-
 

Dr Sim speaking to the press after visiting a Covid-19 vaccination registration counter set up by Padawan Municipal Council (MPP) at a market at seventh mile here today.

KUCHING (Mar 28): The Sarawak government is proposing to establish a new phase or category for residents in Covid-19 outbreak areas to be prioritised in the vaccination programme, said state Minister of Local Government and Housing Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian.

He said that currently, the vaccination programme was categorised into three phases, with the first phase mostly involving frontliners, the second phase is for high-risk groups and third phase for the remaining residents in the state.

“However, I think those living in the coronavirus outbreak areas, like Sibu, Bintulu and Kapit under red zones classification, should be given greater urgency in having them vaccinated first against the virus. That’s why a new phase, maybe to be named as ‘Phase Four’ might be needed,” said Dr Sim.

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He said this to the press after visiting a Covid-19 vaccination registration counter set up by Padawan Municipal Council (MPP) market at seventh mile here today.

Dr Sim said they had spoken to the National Security Council on the proposal and the state’s vaccination programme would be high on the agenda during a visit by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin on April 1 (Thursday).

On a separate matter, Dr Sim told that the Ministry of Health was working out a mechanism for private hospitals to participate in the country’s monumental Covdi-19 vaccination campaign.

He said the state government was leaving the negotiations to the federal government, as private hospital operators have to incur expenses if they participate in the campaign.

“We will be leaving the negotiations to the federal government and I am sure the matter would be concluded before the second and third phase of the vaccination drive starts.”

If the plan is realised, Dr Sim said private hospitals have to be equipped with freezers capable of storing the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine at a temperature of negative 70 degrees Celsius and other medical facilities to standby for any eventualities that might be experienced by a patient.

He also remarked the state has enough qualified medical personnel for the vaccination programme.

Among those in attendance during the visit to the registration counter was MPP chairman Lo Khere Chiang and deputy chairman Dato Ahmad Ibrahim.