Sarawak Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri James Masing today suggested that the federal government adopts the “jab first, register later” approach currently used in rural Sarawak as a means to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the country.
He said this aggressive approach has resulted in Sarawak recording high numbers of people being vaccinated daily, especially in the rural areas.
“In fact, Sarawak need not follow the lockdown as practised in Malaya, but by being part of Malaysia, we have to follow the national instruction,” Masing said when commenting on the extension of Phase One of the nation-wide National Recovery Plan (NRP) announced yesterday.
He said the enforcement of the NRP during which some economic sectors are closed will not break the chain of COVID-19 infections in Malaysia.
Masing said the effect of the lockdown will create “economic mutants” among industries, social frustration within the community, and cause public anger.
“What the Malaysian decision-makers should push for is aggressive jabs for industrial workers using whatever vaccines that are available, so we can create big enough herd immunity our industries to function,” Masing said.
Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced yesterday that the first phase of the NRP would be extended as COVID-19 infection numbers have not fallen to the threshold set.
He had said that daily COVID-19 cases were still above 4,000 a day, one of the three benchmarks that must be reached before the NRP could move into the second phase.
Muhyiddin also stressed that Malaysia would not exit Phase One until all three NRP indicators — new cases below 4,000 daily, “moderate” demand on intensive care capacity, and 10 per cent of population vaccinated — have been met.
“Now they say the movement control order (MCO) is about to end. I want to say that we don’t call it MCO from now on, but we say we are in a particular phase and now we are in Phase One (of the NRP) until July, maybe the middle of the month or so,” he added. — Malay Mail