SAMALAJU, June 17 — Vaccination centres (PPV) at workplaces will be key to ensuring eligible Sarawakians are immunised by August, said Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.
When visiting the Press Metal industrial PPV here today, Abang Johari said this is one of the ways for the state government to further expedite Covid-19 vaccination.
“We have been given the approval that the vaccination process can be implemented in different centres including in industrial areas.
“We don’t want the employees of these companies that operate in Samalaju not (to be) given vaccination due to various problems, unable to go to the vaccination centre,” he told a press conference.
Abang Johari is optimistic that about 80 per cent of the 200,000 eligible vaccine recipients in Bintulu would be inoculated against Covid-19 by August.
“Now the capacity is about 3,000 people vaccinated per day and it will be increased to 5,000 people per day.
“If we add on the vaccination centres (PPVs) at the workplace, it can increase to more than 5,000 people per day,” he said.
Abang Johari said he believed this would be able to flatten the curve of Covid-19 cases in Sarawak, especially in Bintulu.
He said for example Press Metal Bintulu has over 6,000 workers and the PPV was set up to provide vaccinations for its workers.
“After that Press Metal has given permission that this PPV will be used by other companies operating in Samalaju, such as OM Material, Sakura, and other companies that have been given approval by SDMC (State Disaster Management Committee) for their workers to be vaccinated at Press Metal Bintulu PPV,” he said.
The chief minister said another similar industrial PPV with the same system and process would be set up in the Kidurong area.
He said this PPV would cater for oil and gas workers and their contractors operating in Kidurong.
“There are cases from workplaces, we want to have PPV where they work, Press Metal Bintulu is one of the examples.
“The rest of the industries will be having a similar process, in terms of vaccination,” he added.
Abang Johari said other factors that will need to be addressed by the Bintulu Division Disaster Management Committee would be increasing the number of volunteers for the new PPVs.
He also pointed out the need for Sarawak to have another approach for vaccination, which is to be vaccinated first and then registering due to problems with MySejahtera, where information is not updated.
“This is what happened in Sebauh, Tatau, and even inside Bintulu, like Sungai Plan, Bandaria — we need to have that approach to expedite vaccination,” he said.
Samalaju Industrial Park is located about 61km from Bintulu with several big industrial players such as Press Metal, OM Material Holding, OCI Malaysia, Malaysian Phosphate Additives, Pertama Ferroalloys, and Sakura Ferroalloys.
It is estimated that the industrial park has about 11,000 workers, most of whom live in workers’ quarters.
Among those present were deputy chief ministers Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas and Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan, State secretary Datuk Amar Jaul Samion, Minister of Utilities Dato Sri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom, Minister of Local Government and Housing Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian, Press Metal Aluminium Holdings Berhad Group chief executive officer Tan Sri Datuk Paul Koon Poh Keong, Bintulu Resident Jack Aman Luat, and Bintulu Health officer Dr Melvin Chung. — Borneo Post Online