Sarawak DCM says no plans to introduce walk-in Covid-19 jabs in urban areas

Vaccine recipients wait for their turn at the vaccine distribution centre, SPICE, June 10, 2021. The Sarawak government does not plan to enable walk-in Covid-19 vaccinations in its urban areas, said Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Douglas Uggah June 14, 2021. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin
Vaccine recipients wait for their turn at the vaccine distribution centre, SPICE, June 10, 2021. The Sarawak government does not plan to enable walk-in Covid-19 vaccinations in its urban areas, said Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Douglas Uggah June 14, 2021. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

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SIMANGGANG, June 14 — The Sarawak government does not plan to enable walk-in Covid-19 vaccinations in its urban areas, Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Douglas Uggah said today.

He added that doing so would invite a mad scramble for vaccinations.

“In urban areas, we still require the people to register themselves through the MySejahtera apps,” Uggah, who is also the state Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) chairman, told reporters here after visiting the Sri Aman Civic Centre Vaccination Centre here.

He said the federal Covid-19 task force has allowed Sarawak to use a hybrid system for its vaccinations, combining manual registration and through the MySejahtera app.

“Sarawak is almost as big as the whole of peninsular Malaysia.

“It is a very big challenge to vaccinate some two million qualified Sarawakians who are scattered all over,” he said, adding that many settlements are located deep in the interior.

He said this is why the state government will only allow the “walk-in and get your jab approach” in the rural areas.

He also explained that even though it is termed a walk-in vaccination, the process requires the medical department to first contact a representative of the settlements in the interiors who would then advise people from the neighbouring longhouses to converge at a central location like a health centre or a school that would be used to administer the shots.

After that, the rural dwellers would be registered as having received their Covid-19 vaccinations.

Uggah said Sarawak will be deploying the Doctor Service helicopters to reach out to the rural dwellers in the deep interior areas not reachable by land and rivers for walk-in vaccination.

He said eight places are in Sri Aman and Lubok Antu districts.

Uggah said the vaccination task force aims to vaccinate some 79,874 people in Sri Aman and Lubok Antu districts and to complete the roll-out by mid August.

He added that 48,233 people in the two districts have registered for Covid-19 vaccination.

The division has two large vaccination centres which are at the Sri Aman Civic Centre and the Lubok Antu District Council Sports Complex, apart from 12 other community centres including four private clinics.

Uggah said the task force will also reach out to 64 interior localities of which 27 are reachable by rivers and 37 by land.

He said the state will get the service of more doctors and nurses as well as other non-medical staff to speed up its Covid-19 immunisation programme.

He said a committee, chaired by Deputy State Secretary Datuk Dr Sabariah Putit, had been formed to look at the numbers required at all 12 Divisions of Sarawak.

“We need this extra manpower to upgrade our overall vaccination capacity as we hope to complete our immunisation programme by this August,” he said.

Uggah said among others, the government would source from the medical faculties of  Unimas and Segi College Sarawak and a nursing home.

He said with the required manpower Sarawak could give out around 60,000 doses each day.

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