Sarawak DAP: Whatever happened to the state govt’s plan to buy Covid-19 vaccines?

Sarawak DAP chairman Chong Chieng Jen says the state government has been talking about purchasing vaccines on its own since February this year, but nothing has happened to date. — Bernama pic
Sarawak DAP chairman Chong Chieng Jen says the state government has been talking about purchasing vaccines on its own since February this year, but nothing has happened to date. — Bernama pic

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KUCHING, June 4 — Sarawak DAP today asked the state government if its plan to purchase Covid-19 vaccines for the people of Sarawak was going ahead after all.

Its chairman Chong Chieng Jen said the state government has been talking about purchasing vaccines on its own since February this year, but nothing has happened to date.

“Then, suddenly after three months of the state government talking about purchasing vaccines for Sarawakians, recently on May 25, Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin announced that Sarawak would be allocated a total 4.4 million doses of vaccines to be delivered by weekly batches of 380,000 doses starting June,” he said in a statement.

“With that announcement, all plans to purchase vaccines by the state government have now suddenly been put aside,” he said.

Chong said since the announcement, the state government has not said when the first batch of 380,000 doses will arrive, nor how it is going to ramp up vaccinations from the current rate of less than 10,000 doses per day to the targeted 50,000 doses per day.

“For the sake of our people, our lives and our economy, I urge both the federal and state governments to get serious and step up the rollout of the mass vaccination programme.

“It has been tested and proven in other countries to be the effective way to fight the pandemic and our government should not be sitting on its laurels with the current slow progress,” he added.

Chong cited the case of the United Kingdom where mass vaccination has been successful in curbing the spread of the virus.

He said it was reported that the UK recorded zero deaths from Covid-19 infections yesterday.

He added that while it may be just a one-day figure, it definitely signals a turning point for the UK which had been one of the countries hardest hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“On the contrary, yesterday, we, in Malaysia, recorded 126 Covid-19 deaths, so far, the highest single-day deaths from Covid-19.

“While the total population of the UK is approximately 67 million, which is more than double that of Malaysia, its new Covid-19 infection cases yesterday were 3,165 as compared to our 7,703 new infection cases yesterday,” he said.

Chong said Sarawak recorded the third-highest number of new infections among all the states and territories in Malaysia.

“When things are getting better in other countries, we are going the opposite direction,” he added.

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