Saturday, June 19

Ulu Baram rural folk response to Covid-19 vaccine low, rep blames spread of misinformation

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Dennis Ngau

MIRI (April 20): The response of the rural folk in Ulu Baram to the Covid-19 immunisation programme is still low due to unwarranted fears about the vaccine, said Telang Usan assemblyman Dennis Ngau.

He revealed that many of the rural folk were not ready to be vaccinated due to their lack of understanding on the vaccine and the immunisation programme.

“Many rural folks in my constituency are still doubtful about the implementation of Covid-19 Immunisation Programme.

“It is because irresponsible people are scaring the rural folks by sharing untrue and negative information on the Covid-19 vaccines,” he told The Borneo Post when contacted after the second phase of the immunisation programme in Sarawak started on Monday.

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To tackle the misinformation, Dennis said the Telang Usan District Office together with medical teams have continuously gone to the ground to conduct Covid-19 immunisation outreach awareness programmes.

“We had conducted a briefing on the vaccines at Long Latie Penan Service Centre on March 25 which involved Penan community leaders from 16 longhouses.

“Last week, I went to two Penan longhouses at Long Luteng and Long Daloh for a similar session on the vaccination programme.”

Through the effort, he said the understanding among the rural folks in his constituency is increasing albeit slowly.

“There is no problem for those people from Telang Usan who are living in urban areas as they gave positive responses to the vaccination programme.

“My concern is those who are living in the village because they do not really understand the importance of the vaccines which will protect them from the coronavirus. That is why we will continue with this outreach programme in effort to disseminate the right information on the Covid-19 immunisation programme.”

Commenting on the Covid-19 standard operating procedure (SOP) compliance in his constituency, Dennis said he was satisfied that his people were adhering strictly to the guidelines implemented by the government to curb the spread of the virus.

He also thanked the rural folks for their cooperation in keeping Telang Usan district a green zone.

The Health Ministry categorises districts with no cases as green zones, those with one to 20 cases over a two-week period as yellow zone, 21 to 40 as orange zone, and 41 and above as red zone.

According to the State Disaster Management Committee yesterday, Telang Usan was one of four remaining green zones in Sarawak. The others are Lawas, Lundu and Simunjan.

Half of the state’s 40 districts are red zones.