Sunday, September 19

Wee: Vaccine certs for vaccinated hawkers out next week

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A screenshot of Dr Ooi (left) participating in the weekly Facebook live session hosted by Wee. Sibu Municipal Council chairman Clarence Ting (top right) also participated.

KUCHING (Sept 12): Kuching South City Council (MBKS) will start issuing Covid-19 vaccination certificates to hawkers under its jurisdictions who have been fully vaccinated next week, says mayor Dato Wee Hong Seng.

“We will issue the certificates next week. This month is only the trial run for the initiative,” he said in his weekly Facebook live session yesterday afternoon.

He said about 90 per cent of hawkers had already been vaccinated and those who haven’t would not be allowed to resume business activities at areas beginning Oct 1.

Wee added the council would be holding a Zoom meeting with restaurant and coffeeshop associations next Tuesday to discuss the standard operating procedures related to improving air ventilation of their premises.

He said Kenyalang Market would resume operation today and only hawkers tested negative for Covid-19 allowed to operate.

Sarawak General Hospital’s senior consultant paediatrician Dr Ooi Mong How was a guest at Wee’s Facebook live session yesterday.

Dr Ooi said Covid-19 vaccination played a massive role in reducing the stress on the healthcare system by drastically lowering hospitalisation among positive patients and freeing resources to treat other patients.

“Now, we have reached a phase where we need to be practical in handling the pandemic, meaning balancing livelihood and saving lives.

The current crop of vaccines cannot totally eliminate Covid-19 from the planet so we must learn to live with the coronavirus under the new norm,” he said.

While the recent new cases in the state were high, Dr Ooi said greater attention should be focused on patients categorised under 3, 4 and 5 with more serious symptoms, while the overall new cases indicated the transmission rate.

He also hoped that adolescent aged 12 and above could be inoculated as soon as possible to break the chain of transmission.

“Nobody on this planet has a natural immune response to Covid-19 and the question ought to be asked is – if you are infected, have you been vaccinated or not yet?”

Even if one was infected, Dr Ooi said vaccination would be able to reduce the severity of the symptoms to possibly none, or exposed to a high risk of serious illnesses without vaccination.

He also said that vaccination could not 100 per cent prevent the transmission of Delta variant but it could possibly shorten the patient’s infectious period from about three weeks for unvaccinated individuals to only one week for the vaccinated ones.

He added that almost 100 per cent of samples collected in the state were of Delta variant, and having good air ventilation in buildings was crucial due to the capability of the variant to transmit via aerosols.

For enclosed premises where windows could not be opened, Dr Ooi said having an air purifier in place would play a major role in keeping the air circulation as clean as possible.

“As for dine-in services, I understand it’s part of our culture so I think maybe we can shorten the dine-in period. Put on your masks immediately after having your food or drinks and always choose to dine-in at an open and well-ventilated place,” said Dr Ooi.