By S. Harrish
HAVING a Covid-19 vaccination passport doesn’t mean one cannot contract the virus as shown by a group of China nationals who arrived at Kuching International Airport recently.
Despite having the passports, they were found to be infected with the coronavirus, said Sarawak Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian.
He said in a Facebook posting that Sarawak was starting to see imported cases among foreigners although they have been vaccinated against the virus in their home countries.
“We in Sarawak have detected cases involving several persons from China who arrived in Kuching from mainland China,” he said.
“These Chinese citizens told authorities in Kuching that they have been vaccinated twice in China, but they are still required to undergo compulsory quarantine at designated centres in Kuching and PCR swab tests.
“That was when they were found positive for Covid-19, even though they have Covid-19 vaccination passports.
“They said they received two doses of the Covid-19 vaccine in China last year.
“They were found positive for Covid-19 because of the mandatory quarantine and PCR swab tests in Sarawak.”
Dr Sim said that having a vaccination passport was not the same as having an “immunity passport”.
He said people would then ask why vaccinations are still recommended.
“It is to stop community transmission. We need a minimum 70% of people to be vaccinated for herd immunity and Malaysia has bought 150% doses to vaccinate 80% of its people.”
He added that if vaccinations were done fast enough, the virus will not be able to mutate and variants will not emerge.
“Then, we just have to protect our border to prevent variants like South Africa in West Malaysia from being imported into Sarawak and starting another round of transmissions.”
Dr Sim said a vaccinated person who gets infected will have a less severe form of Covid-19 and there will also be lesser deaths.
As of yesterday, Sarawak recorded 114 deaths and 18,164 cases since the pandemic began.