Selangor may go to Phase 2 in September

Based on reports from Health Ministry, HTAR in Klang records a 50% reduction of Covid-19 hospitalisation


SELANGOR is expected to proceed to the second phase of the National Recovery Plan (NRP) anytime next month which will allow more economic sectors to reopen.

Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari said this follows the decline in hospital admission for Covid-19 in the state, attributed to encouraging vaccination rate.

“Based on reports and data from the Health Ministry, Hospital Tuanku Ampuan Rahimah (HTAR) in Klang recorded a 50% reduction of Covid-19 hospitalisation.

“I am still waiting for reports from other hospitals in Selangor but the signal is quite clear that the situation is improving,” he said in a virtual press conference yesterday.

He said 90% of the state’s adult population had been inoculated and at least 56% of them had received the second jab.

Amirudin said the proposal to move to the next phase had been brought to Health DG Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah’s attention, who agreed that the reopening of the economy would be allowed in Selangor soon.

However, strict health standard operating procedures (SOPs) must be continued.

“I also hope we will be cautious in allowing several sectors like education and schools to reopen. Premature decision can cause a spread of new infections,” said Amirudin.

Selangor, together with Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya, Negri Sembilan, Melaka, Johor and Kedah are still in the first phase of NRP since June 15.

A number of economic sectors are still closed, while social sectors are fully prohibited to curb the spread of Covid-19.

On Sunday, caretaker Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced 11 non-essential sectors to resume in Phase 1 states, provided that 50% of the adult population have been fully vaccinated.

This, however, is only applicable for those who have received full vaccination with customers entering the premises are required to present their Covid-19 Vaccination Digital Certificate which also shows that 14 days have passed since their second jabs.

The Covid-19 vaccination rate in Selangor was ramped up after the federal and state governments agreed to work together on the Operation Surge Capacity initiative for the Klang Valley which began in July.

Selangor had earlier ordered 2.5 million of Sinovac Biotech Ltd vaccines for state use, in particular to fulfil the industry’s demand and cater for vulnerable groups including the disabled.

With the demand for vaccines in Selangor almost filled up, Amirudin said the state has received a request from the federal-led Covid19 Immunisation Task Force (CITF) to support a nationwide shortage of supplies to be distributed to other states.

“Selangor has agreed to lend some 500,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccines to CITF to cater other states’ needs. We expect the replacement to reach the state within two months, so we can prepare in case booster doses are needed under the state vaccination programme.

“The need for a third dose will be determined after we have a clearer picture and guidelines from the World Health Organisation (WHO),” he said.

According to the WHO, the Delta variant has been reported in 96 countries so far and is expected to continue spreading.

Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE recently announced that they would seek regulatory authorisation for a third dose of their Covid-19 vaccine.

They cited that data from an ongoing trial, which showed that a third shot pushed antibody levels five to 10 times higher, against the original coronavirus strain and the Beta variant, compared to the first two doses alone, saying a third dose was expected to perform similarly well against the Delta strain.

Moving forward, Amirudin said the state government will focus on searching for residents who are not yet vaccinated, including undocumented foreigners who are possibly hiding from the authorities.

The state’s outreach project found that there were a number of people who had yet to receive the vaccine, including foreign students stranded in Malaysia.

Many have also not registered for vaccination through the MySejahtera application, said Amirudin.

He was also of the view that an extension is unnecessary for walk-in vaccination in Selangor, which will end this month.