KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 2 — Bagan MP Lim Guan Eng today called on the federal government to implement Operation Surge Capacity (OSC) in Penang, similar to the one currently in action in the Klang Valley.
The federal lawmaker said Covid-19 cases were on the rise in the island state and stressed the need to speed up the vaccination rate as only 21.7 per cent of its adult population has been inoculated.
“With the daily infections from Penang hitting a record 752 cases of August 1, there is a need to speed up the vaccination process as the most effective protection against Covid-19 apart from complying with the SOPs.
“The rise of daily infections as well as deaths in Penang has heightened fear and intensified demands for faster vaccination. I have received many complaints about the slow vaccination process, with many unhappy about not receiving vaccination appointments even though they had registered since February,” Lim said in a statement.
He noted that the Penang government has decided against purchasing its own vaccines, relying fully instead on the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (NIP) to achieve herd immunity.
He suggested the federal government appoint an MP from Penang to oversee and coordinate the OCS should it be implemented in the state.
“The federal government should respond to the faith entrusted by the state government to ensure early delivery of vaccines, and not let Penang be left behind until Penang is number 10 out of 14 states in Malaysia in full dosage vaccination rate,” he said.
He said that more than 80 per cent of the Covid-19 cases in the state involve those who are unvaccinated, adding that the vaccination rate should be sped up to lower the risk to those infected.
“According to the Penang Health Department, the unvaccinated made up 83 per cent of the total number of cases on July 28, 82 per cent on July 29, 79 per cent on July 30 and 80 per cent on July 31.
Lim said that Penang is one of the top three contributors of tax revenues and key export regions for Malaysia and is the only industrialised state in the country with 95 per cent of GDP coming from the manufacturing sector.
“We hope that the relevant authorities can take proactive measures to speed up vaccination to save lives and livelihoods,” he said.
On July 16, the government introduced OSC in the Klang Valley to ensure that every adult resident in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor will receive their first dose of the two-shot Covid-19 vaccination by August 1.