Use lockdown to vaccinate target groups from higher-risk clusters, says Rafidah

Rafidah Aziz – Malay Mail Pix

By John Isaac

WITH the country remaining under lockdown, the government must use this “pause” to vaccinate target groups from higher-risk clusters, says Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz.

The former international trade and industry minister noted that the health ministry had issued statistics which clearly indicated there were certain areas with a high number of Covid-19 cases.

She called on Putrajaya to use the lockdown period to identify factories in every industrial area and set up several special vaccination centres instead of mega PPVs.

“Mobile vaccination units can be sent to vaccinate workers in each factory where a central vaccination site is not suitable. Get the management of every factory to organise their own workers to be vaccinated, even if the factories are closed,” she said in a statement reported by Free Malaysia Today.

According to FMT, Rafidah said there must be collaboration between companies and the local and health authorities, adding that the same approach can be applied to construction sites and the education sector.

Special attention should also be paid to detention centres as inmates are also human and infections cut across physical or social borders.

“In short, the government must undertake parallel vaccination approaches, not ‘phase by phase’. Parallel means vaccinations of every target group at the same time,” she said.

She said this was to effectively curb the spread of the virus and allow economic activities, as well as life in society, to begin soonest.

“Only then can the government talk about implementing the national recovery plan because then, God willing, there can be a decline in the spread of Covid-19, economic activities can be at optimal levels and our young can resume their studies.”

Rafidah also said ministers should stop blaming certain clusters for the surge in infections, as the government itself was at fault for not developing proper approaches to vaccination.