KUCHING (April 1): The second phase of Sarawak’s Covid-19 vaccination programme will commence on April 19, Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian said.
He said this in a post on his Facebook page last night, while urging Sarawakians not to be complacent in curbing the spread of the virus which had claimed 108 lives in the state so far.
“Not long to go, hang in there, don’t give up as our target is August. Phase 2 starts on 19 April,” said Dr Sim, who is a key member of the state disaster management committee (SDMC).
He emphasised that Sarawakians must remain alert, abide by the standard operating procedures (SOP) and live by the new norms until a minimum of 70 per cent of Sarawakians are vaccinated.
“No one is immune from Covid-19. Even if after two doses of vaccination, if variants keep on emerging. But without vaccination, you will have more serious infections and higher risk of deaths.
“Let’s continue to play our role and do our part seriously. Let’s pray that we will complete our vaccination by August, beating the emerging Covid-19 variants in USA, Europe and UK,” he said.
Sarawak aims to complete its vaccination programme for more than two million people in August, some four months ahead of the national target and is ready to purchase its own vaccines to achieve the target.
The vaccination programme is separated into three phases with the first phase for frontliners. The second phase if for the elderly and people with comordities and the third phase are generally for adults above 18 years old. The state aims to launch the second and third phases at the same time.
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Dr Sim also revealed today that the three new clusters announced in Sarawak yesterday were believed to be from overcrowding of rental accommodations of rural to urban migrations and a police station.
“The Health Dept had been told to investigate and appropriate actions including compounds if any breach of SOP or PKPB terms and conditions,” he said, using the Malay acronym for Conditional Movement Control Order.
SDMC said in a statement yesterday that the new clusters are the Jalan Baji Cluster in Sarikei which was traced to a housing area with a 16-year-old boy as the index case, the Jalan Kingsway Cluster in Miri involving a government office and the Bulatan Aman Cluster in Sibu involving a factory at Jalan Upper Lanang.
Sarawak yesterday recorded 176 new cases for a total of 16,390 cases and one more fatality, bringing the state’s death toll to 108.