Sarawak to expedite vaccination for food delivery riders, other transport frontliners

Lee (centre) joins the food delivery riders in a photo-op, after the latter have received their Covid-19 vaccines at the PPV in IKBN Miri – Borneo Post photo

THE Sarawak government will accelerate the Covid-19 vaccination for transportation frontliners, including nearly 1,000 food and parcel delivery riders.

State Minister of Transport Datuk Lee Kim Shin said this was necessary as these workers come into close contact with the public daily.

He added that 9,827 names of forwarding agencies and public transport drivers have been compiled by his ministry and submitted to the respective Resident’s Offices and the divisional Health offices, Borneo Post reported.

“The Ministry of Transport Sarawak has been working closely with the Resident’s Offices and the divisional Health offices to ensure that the transport (sector) frontliners are vaccinated,” he said in a press statement yesterday.

He disclosed that the list included employees of forwarding agencies including lorry drivers with 1,576 people, bus drivers (645 people), driving school instructors (800 people), e-hailing drivers (4,677 people), taxi drivers (1,147 people), parcels and food delivery – or p-hailing – riders (982 people), riverine transport operators (617 people), and aviation staff members (1,718 people).

“Based on the feedback from lorry drivers, I understand that so far 1,397 lorry drivers have been vaccinated – that is 89 per cent of the total name list (of lorry drivers) submitted by Sarawak Forwarding Agency Association.

“They also include 101 out of 151 lorry drivers from Miri, who are involved in transporting goods to Brunei as well as to Limbang and Lawas, passing Brunei,” he said.

Lee said getting them vaccinated early was vital as recently, Brunei authority had announced that they would require all foreign transporters going to or passing through Brunei to be vaccinated. The new policy would come into force this July 13, he added.

“To date, many of the public transport frontliners who have not been vaccinated, have already have been contacted by their respective divisional Health offices or Resident’s Offices about their appointment dates.”

According to Lee, the state government has set a target for Sarawak to achieve herd immunity by the end of August.

Yesterday afternoon, Lee visited IKBN Miri vaccination centre (PPV) to see some of the p-hailing riders receiving their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.

“Currently, there are 169 food delivery riders in Miri Division whose names have been submitted for vaccination and most of them have received their first dose,” the minister pointed out.

Lee also called upon p-hailing riders who had yet to register for the vaccination programme to cooperate by contacting their respective divisional Resident’s Offices as soon as possible.