Not likely for Covid numbers to be low by May

The immunisation programme is moving slowly due to the delayed delivery of the vaccines


HEALTH Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba (picture) said it is not likely for Covid-19 cases to reach below 500 daily by May.

“Currently, the R-naught value of the country is 1.06. Meanwhile, there has been an increase of cases in Sarawak, seeing an R-naught value of 1.08.

“Based on these values, it doesn’t seem to be likely for the nation to see numbers as low as 500 by May,” he said in a press conference in Putrajaya yesterday.

He also said private hospitals will be involved in Phases 2 and 3 of the vaccination programme, to achieve the 80% population goal.

According to Dr Adham, private hospitals that wish to partake in the vaccination phases may register via

“The government will be giving free vaccinations to all hospitals that are chosen for the process,” he said.

The second phase of the vaccination targets high-risk groups and elderly citizens, and among the vaccine types that will be utilised for the phase is Sinovac, according to the Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin Abu Bakar, who was also present during the joint press conference yesterday.

Khairy said the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme is currently moving slowly due to the slow delivery of the vaccines as the doses received by the country so far amounts to 1.38 million to date.

“We are expected to receive a large amount of vaccine starting from June, which has been agreed upon in previous negotiations.

“The supply chain all over the world is experiencing difficulties, as developed countries have booked and purchased in large amounts to the point that they can vaccinate their population five times, leading to emerging countries such as Malaysia and Australia to receive lower doses,” he said.

Currently, the number of people who have registered for vaccination stands at 8.51 million, which is 35.1% of the country’s target.

“The states that are seeing the highest number of registrations are Putrajaya, Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Negri Sembilan, while the lowest registrations are seen in Sabah, Kelantan, Pahang, Terengganu and Kedah,” he said.

He added that as Phase 2 will begin soon, a total of 31,776 appointment messages have been sent out to the people eligible.

“So far, only 42% have responded to the messages stating that they will come for the appointment, and it is advisable for those who haven’t done so to state their intentions, so that we can plan around the doses and not waste the vaccines that we have so far,” he said.

In addition, for the protection of foreign workers and employees, Dr Adham said employers should be using the targeted approach as they are no longer being offered subsidies for screening tests.

“Employers should now use the targeted approach, and if there are cases of close contact, then isolation should be done,” he said.

Currently, the overall total of vaccinated individuals in Malaysia stands at 979,794, making up 583,903 individuals who have taken one dose and 395,891 with two doses.