NCIP Phase 4 for economic sectors

Manufacturing, export, logistics and transportation, energy and utility are among sectors that will be prioritised

by SHAHEERA AZNAM SHAH / pic by TMR FILE

THE Covid-19 Immunisation Task Force (CITF) has added another phase under the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (NCIP) to solely focus on vaccinating people who are working under economic sectors that are deemed essential.

Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin Abu Bakar (picture), who is also the coordinating minister for NCIP, said the additional phase, namely Phase 4, will begin on June 16 in Pengerang, Johor.

“After reviewing the infection of the Covid-19 in the country and the NCIP’s vaccination rate, we believe there is a need to establish another phase.

“The Special Committee on Ensuring Access to Covid-19 Vaccine Supply has decided to begin vaccinating people, who are working in the critical sectors, that are in operation during the movement restriction,” he told reporters during a virtual press conference yesterday.

Among the sectors that will be prioritised are manufacturing, export, logistics and transportation, as well as energy and utility, Khairy Jamaluddin said.

He added that CITF has been in discussion with other ministries, including the International Trade and Industry Ministry, Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry, Works Ministry, Transport Ministry, Tourism Arts and Culture Ministry and other government agencies to facilitate the process.

“The government will be working with ProtectHealth Sdn Bhd, a non-profit organisation under the Health Ministry (MoH), to manage and speed up the vaccination process for Phase 4,” he said.

Pengerang is currently home to a multi-billion-dollar oil and gas hub, the Pengerang Integrated Petroleum Complex, which houses Petroliam Nasional Bhd’s (Petronas) RM111.17 billion Pengerang Integrated Complex (PIC).

PIC is Petronas’ largest downstream investment in a single location to date.

Last year, Petronas Refinery and Petrochemical Corp Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of Petronas Group of Companies that oversees the development at PIC, confirmed that it had been part of the Covid-19 cluster in Pengerang cluster reported by MoH.

Meanwhile, Khairy Jamaluddin said the government is ramping up the vaccine distribution in Selangor, raising the vaccine delivery to the state from 17% to 25% of Malaysia’s total supply.

“Population of age 18 years and above in Selangor is about 20%, however, Selangor only makes up 17% of the total vaccine delivery of the country.

“CITF will increase the vaccination capacity in the state by raising the number of doses that the state gets to 25%,” he said.

He added that, previously, the number of the Covid-19 vaccination centres (PPVs) in Selangor could not handle a large supply.

“The capacity of PPVs previously could not hold the high volume of delivery. Thus, we have added more PPVs, including a mega vaccination centre in Puncak Alam and Setia Alam, to cater to the larger volume,” he said.

The minister said the CITF had taken note of the remarks made by Selangor’s Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah on the allocation of vaccines for the state.

On Tuesday, the Selangor ruler said he was shocked that the state only received 615,210 doses of the Covid-19 vaccines and not 2.9 million as claimed, which is highly disproportionate to Selangor’s population of 6.5 million.

Sultan Sharafuddin also said vaccination centres in Selangor should be increased, especially in the rural areas, while believing that drive-through set up and mobile clinics could expedite and widen the immunisation coverage.