Tuesday, December 7

Allowing mass walk-ins for vaccination can be disastrous


Junz Wong

KOTA KINABALU: Warisan has urged Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) to reconsider its policy of allowing mass walk-ins at all vaccination centres throughout Sabah.

On Wednesday, Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun said that Malaysians and foreigners can now walk in to any PPVs to receive their vaccine.

In a statement released on Thursday, Warisan vice president Datuk Junz Wong warned of the hazards that would ensue.

“Has GRS consulted doctors and frontliners whether or not such policy is noble and practical?

“What is the stand of Sabah’s new Health Director, Dr Rose Nani Mudin?

“Such half-baked policy is not only irresponsible, but could be disastrous!” he cautioned.
“Has GRS considered what would happen, if among the thousands of people walking in, one person is Covid-19 positive?

“Do we want to see a situation whereby Sabah then breaks the Malaysia Book of Records for triggering a new cluster involving thousands of people?” he said.
Junz also lamented that GRS is putting the lives of the public and frontliners at risk.

“There are currently SOPs to monitor all these safety measures.

“MySejahtera traces everyone’s past close contacts and recently visited places.

“Those who may have been at red zones or been a close contact will be temporarily barred from getting their jabs.

“But now, if everyone is allowed to walk in, isn’t GRS risking the lives of our frontliners and the general public?

“I am really worried. Our doctors and frontliners are already making a lot of sacrifices for us. GRS must take them into account before making any hasty decisions,” said Junz.

The Tanjung Aru assemblyman also questioned why foreigners (PTIs) are given the same treatment as Sabahans.

“It is also perplexing how GRS can be giving priority to PTIs, when the vast majority of Sabahans have not been vaccinated.

“We should be prioritising Sabahans first. Then only set aside how many vaccines are needed for PTIs and implement another separate rollout plan.”

To that, he said GRS has to come up with another rollout plan with proper SOPs for walk-in.

“My advice to GRS is to open up some PPVs specially for those who registered with MySejahtera to walk in.

“Then, open up another few PPVs specifically for those who did not register with MySejahtera to walk in.

“It is a good idea to open up for walk-in, but it must be organised and implemented properly with strict safety SOPs.

“If GRS wants to open up for walk-ins, it must be done at certain areas and not a blanket implementation.

“A proper SOP must also be in place for such walk-ins.

“Because if not carefully managed, a half-baked policy will do more harm than good. It can cause yet another spike in Sabah.

“Don’t stop it only when it’s too late. Take a step back to reconsider carefully whether this policy decision will do more harm than good to our Covid-19 situation in Sabah,” he said.