Hannah Yeoh: Government risks more Covid-19 waves if foreigners in EMCO areas not vaccinated

Segambut MP Hannah Yeoh said the two areas, Kampung Segambut Dalam and Kampung Sungai Penchala, have a high number of foreign residents, most of whom have been excluded from the national vaccination programme. — Picture by Miera Zulyana
Segambut MP Hannah Yeoh said the two areas, Kampung Segambut Dalam and Kampung Sungai Penchala, have a high number of foreign residents, most of whom have been excluded from the national vaccination programme. — Picture by Miera Zulyana

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KUALA LUMPUR, July 2 ― Segambut MP Hannah Yeoh has called on the government to vaccinate all those living in areas placed under the enhanced movement control order regardless of nationality to avoid risking more Covid-19 infection waves in the future.

Two localities in her constituency are among several places in the capital city that had undergone tight restrictions, with more to begin starting at midnight.

The EMCO on Kampung Sungai Penchala has already concluded but is still ongoing for Kampung Segambut Dalam.

The DAP leader said the two areas, Kampung Segambut Dalam and Kampung Sungai Penchala, have a high number of foreign residents, most of whom have been excluded from the national vaccination programme.

This made them highly vulnerable to infections as well as a risk to surrounding neighbours since they could then spread the coronavirus, stressed Yeoh.

“Without diminishing the urgent need to vaccinate our citizens, I urge the federal government not to overlook the foreigners in our communities in our vaccination effort,” she said in a statement.

“Communities with a larger segment of foreigners have recently been placed under EMCO because of the high number of infections in those areas.”

Under the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme, applicants must register via the state-built MySejahtera application to get vaccination. The application, however, excludes persons without MyKad or passports.

Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin, who oversees the federal Covid-19 vaccination efforts, had pledged to include both documented and undocumented foreigners in the mainstream programme.

At the same time the Federal Territories Ministry is also running a mobile vaccination effort in the capital city but that, too, is exclusive to Malaysians, which Yeoh believes could be the reason why areas with a high number of foreign residents are more prone to outbreaks.

“That explains why more areas are now being placed under EMCO in populated places around Kuala Lumpur,” the Segambut MP said.

“The price of neglecting non-Malaysians in our vaccination programs have been proven to be costly in the case of Kampung Sungai Penchala and Kampung Segambut Dalam. These are actual case studies the Federal Government must learn from to prevent the emergence of EMCO everywhere else across Malaysia,” she added.

Almost all districts in Selangor and over a dozen localities in the capital city will be placed under the EMCO beginning at midnight, Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced yesterday amid public disquiet over the government’s response to the pandemic.

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