KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 5 — More than 98 per cent of workers in the manufacturing industry registered under the Public-Private Partnership Covid-19 Industry Immunisation Programme (Pikas) have received at least the first dose of the vaccine shot.
Senior Minister of International Trade and Industry Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali said Pikas had performed very well and helped expedite the vaccination rates for Malaysians.
“Although the total workforce in the manufacturing sector in the country is about 2.2 million people, it should be remembered that some have been vaccinated under the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (PICK) and also on a ‘walk-in’ basis.
“So out of a total of over 900,000 scheduled to get vaccinated under Pikas, more than 98 per cent have done so and this is a pretty good achievement,” he told reporters after visiting four siblings who became orphans after losing their parents and grandmother due to Covid-19 in Kampung Melayu Sri Gombak, near here.
Mohamed Azmin said the ministry aimed to complete the immunisation for industrial workers under Pikas by the end of this month and looking at current numbers, he was confident it would be achieved.
As such, at the recent Cabinet meeting, Mohamed Azmin said he had asked the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (Mosti) and also the Ministry of Health to increase the supply of vaccines for the programme as most of the Vaccination Centres (PPV) set up by companies are facing supply shortages.
“I have received an assurance from Dr Adham Baba (Mosti minister) that starting this month, the supply of vaccines for Pikas will be increased,” he said.
He said speeding up the vaccination process among industrial workers was very important as the manufacturing sector was the backbone of the country’s economic growth.
“Unlike other sectors, industrial workers have to be on-site, they cannot work from home, so they are exposed to the possibility of Covid-19 infection.
“That is why I want these workers to be protected, given attention and priority to get vaccinated so that they are safer and more secure not only health-wise but also so that we can increase the country’s productivity,” he said.
Earlier, Mohamed Azmin visited the four siblings — Mohamad Faiz Yusni (16), Nur Sofiya Yusni (14), Nur Syazwani Yusni (10) and Mohamad Fadhil Yusni (nine), who now live with their 70-year-old grandfather, Mursal Khatip, who also has heart problems.
Their mother, Salawati Mursal, 41, died on August 12 at the Kuala Lumpur Hospital, while their grandmother, Rasmi Suun, 68, died on August 19 at Selayang Hospital and their father succumbed to the deadly virus on August 30 also at the Selayang Hospital.
Mohamed Azmin, who is also Gombak Member of Parliament, said the education of the four would be given attention, besides their health and that of their grandfather.
“With me are officials from the Social Welfare Department and the mosque, where I have assured them we will take care of their welfare and their grandfather and that education will be a priority for us.
“As a caring government, we always care and ensure that the welfare of families and next-of-kin is given attention, including families affected by Covid-19,” he said. — Bernama