by ASILA JALIL / pic by TMR FILE
VOLUNTEERS and staff members at vaccination centres (PPVs) should be fully vaccinated before they are allowed to perform their duties at the centres.
Osel group chief clinical and innovative scientist Dr Kris See said the Covid-19 Immunisation Task Force (CITF) should only consider taking in fully vaccinated individuals as volunteers to reduce the symptoms and spread of the virus.
“I think at the fundamental level, CITF should ensure all volunteers are vaccinated completely with two doses. Even after two doses, it does not mean that the volunteers would not be infected with Covid-19, but it is a clear sign that symptoms will not be severe.
“We are in for the long-haul, I think logical and practical arrangements must be made to protect these volunteers,” he told The Malaysian Reserve (TMR) yesterday.
Besides completing their vaccination doses, Malaysian Medical Association president Datuk Dr Subramaniam Muniandy believes volunteers should wear N95 masks and face shields for maximum protection.
“All volunteers at the PPVs should be fully vaccinated. They should also be wearing N95 masks, face shields and ensuring they sanitise hands regularly.
“The MySejahtera check-in status of those going for their jabs and those accompanying them should also be properly checked before being allowed into the PPV,” he told TMR.
The Ideal Convention Centre (IDCC) PPV had to close yesterday after 204 of its staff tested positive.
National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme Coordinating Minister Khairy Jamaluddin Abu Bakar said mass testing on the workers involved was done on July 10 following two positive cases detected among the staff at the vaccination centre.
He said there are 453 staff at IDCC PPV where 88% or 400 of them have been vaccinated, while the remaining 12% have yet to be inoculated.
“As for the individuals who were not vaccinated, it could be a new rotation (among the staff members). Usually they would get vaccinated within a week on duty.
“Out of the 204 infected individuals, we cannot ascertain who got infected at IDCC and who did not because the number of cases in Selangor is too high,” he said during a virtual press briefing yesterday.
The results of those infected carried a cycle threshold value of more than 35, which means the viral load is low, said the minister.
As a precaution, the CITF also advised those present for vaccination at IDCC between June 29 to July 12, 2021, to make a self-assessment for 10 days and conduct a Covid-19 screening test, if found symptomatic.
Vaccine appointments that were scheduled yesterday have been rescheduled to a new date.
Further actions taken by the CITF to manage the outbreak at the PPV include changing the teams on duty to lessen the spread of the virus.
“I also urge other PPVs to continue complying with the standard operating procedures without any compromise. We are considering stricter measures at all PPVs and this will be announced from time to time.”
IDCC PPV will resume operations today.
Former Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Yeo Bee Yin took to Twitter to provide a few suggestions that the CITF could take on to prevent the formation of a PPV cluster.
She said the task force could provide free testing for individuals who had been to IDCC two weeks before the outbreak occurred and call the individuals to inform them of the mandatory self-isolation.
“Mass test all the staff and volunteers at all other PPVs. (From) now on, should do testing regularly, can consider rapid-test or home-test kits.
“Quickly come out with a ventilation guide for PPVs and implement them,” Yeo said.
Petaling Jaya MP Maria Chin Abdullah said there was a lack of communication between the government and those who do not have smartphones and Internet access to register for the vaccine.
“Minister Khairy has also offered to all the MPs an additional allocation of RM20,000 to carry out the registration programme. To date, the funds are still not made available to the MPs. Programmes are operated on the Opposition MPs’ own funds.
“The government has failed to understand the issue of connectivity and ownership of smartphones. They have assumed that everyone has access. They do not realise that their communication is weak and do not reach those who do not have access to smartphones or the Internet,” she said in a statement yesterday.