Thursday, June 8

SPA urges govt to wake up, re-strategise to fight Covid-19


David Hii

KUCHING (Aug 14): Sarawak Patriots Association (SPA) is very concerned with the government’s continued use of the term ‘herd immunity’ as a goal in tackling the Covid-19 pandemic, especially when the virus is mutating and the highly infectious Delta variant is spreading and infecting vaccinated individuals.

In a statement yesterday, its secretary David Hii Chin Loung said that, based on analysis by Code Blue using the Ministry of Health data, 15.6 per cent of new Covid-19 cases were vaccine breakthrough infections, that is 20,684 out of a total of over 132,700.

He explained that vaccine breakthrough infection occurs when an individual becomes infected even after being fully vaccinated.

“Such a high rate of vaccine breakthrough infections means that fully vaccinated persons can still be infected and transmit the virus to unprotected segments of our community.

“Young children and those with medical conditions are especially at risk here. This puts to risk the government’s entire strategy of assuming ‘herd immunity’, which will allow us to return to normal. We also do not know how long this immunity will last,” he said.

SPA strongly urges the government to move towards a multi-layer defensive strategy to handle Covid-19, one that involves regular testing, vaccinations, border checkpoints, finely targeted lockdowns and continued public education.

“In the longer term, fundamental changes as to how we plan our growth is required. Are large malls with a higher propensity to becoming super-spreading locations still relevant in a post-pandemic world?

“How can we better improve better ventilation in existing and new offices, markets, and businesses? How do we reduce crowding in our schools and reduce our student-to-teacher ratio?” he asked.

“It is time for the government to wake up, plan and strategise for such a scenario. Let us be proactive and not reactive. We have already had more than 18 months of living in fear.

“We need to prepare our people to live in a new world. The first society that successfully does so will gain a massive advantage. SPA hopes that this will be Sarawak,” the statement added.