Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas, who is also Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) chairman, said the process had been running smoothly since Friday. ― Picture courtesy of Sarawak Information Department
Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas, who is also Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) chairman, said the process had been running smoothly since Friday. ― Picture courtesy of Sarawak Information Department

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KUCHING, Feb 28 — A group of 1,688 people, comprising mostly frontliners, received their Pfizer BioNTech Covid-19 vaccines on the first day of the state’s vaccination programme rollout yesterday.

In announcing this, Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas, who is also Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) chairman, said the process had been running smoothly since Friday.

“It is going to be a massive and very challenging operation – we are going to vaccinate 2.2 million people.

“This is one of the most massive operations for SDMC. That’s why we have to be very meticulous and detailed in our planning.

“We want to reach everyone who wants and is eligible to be vaccinated. But I am confident the respective divisional disaster management committees would be able to play their roles effectively with the experiences that they have,” he told reporters after visiting Kampung Emperoh Jambu’s Covid-19 Pandemic Lockdown Operations Room near here yesterday.

Uggah also said he was appalled by certain news report about Sarawak having only managed to vaccinate 132 people.

“This is fake news. People should write based on facts,” he stressed.

On the state vaccination’s roll-out, Uggah said the vaccinations took place at centres in various parts of the state — except in Bintulu, Miri and Limbang divisions.

On the roll-out in the rural areas, he said preparations were on-going.

“This would be done in Phase II, beginning in April.

“We are now getting the respective district offices to do the registration and for the health clinics to check on the health status of those wanting to be vaccinated.

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“Overall, we target to conclude the statewide roll-out by August; however, this would depend on our supply of vaccines,” he said.

On the lockdown under enhanced movement control order (EMCO) over Kampung Emperoh Jambu, Uggah said this was because the number of people affected from the cluster had increased.

“We have detected 155 positive cases, of which 60 are the villagers themselves. (Therefore), we need to bring the situation under control; that’s why we have enforced the lockdown from February 23 to March 8. We apologise for the inconveniences, but this is inevitable in order to stop the spread and to save lives.  We hope the villagers would cooperate by staying home.

“Please do not gather around or visit each other. If we confined ourselves to our homes, we could stop Covid-19 spread and avoid getting infected,” he said.

Uggah also said the SDMC, for now, would only focus on the specific affected areas, instead of locking down the whole division or district.

“Our strategy is to detect, test, trace, isolate and support. We have been doing this successfully in a number of places with positive cases.

“We have managed to bring the situation under control, where we have reduced  and then put an end to the spread.”

During the visit, Uggah also presented foodstuff donated by non-governmental organisations (NGOs), the local elected representatives and the private sector, to Penghulu Richard Daho who represented the villagers.

Accompanying Uggah were Assistant Minister of Transport and Mambong assemblyman Datuk Dr Jerip Susil, Deputy State Secretary Datu Ik Pahon Joyik and Sarawak Health Department director Dr Chin Zing Hing.

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They were joined by Puncak Borneo MP Datuk Willie Mongin, who is also Deputy Minister II of Plantation Industries and Commodities. — Borneo Post Online



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