The Penang government has urged Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob and his new cabinet to give more attention to states seeing a spike in COVID-19 cases in recent weeks.
Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow (picture) said Penang is hoping the federal government will reach out to help the various states including Penang that have recorded a surge in COVID-19 cases.
“I call on the new PM, new Health Minister and other related ministers to reach out to these states … whether it is to accelerate vaccination or taking measures in public health initiatives, to ensure the public healthcare facilities are adequate to meet the spike in COVID-19 cases,” he told a press conference here today.
He said there is now a higher death rate due to COVID-19 in Penang, and this should be the main concern for everyone right now.
Penang is experiencing a surge in COVID-19 cases, recording 2,078 new cases yesterday for its highest ever daily figure since the pandemic began in March last year.
Penang also reported a record number of deaths at 31 on Thursday.
Meanwhile, in a statement earlier, Chow said Penang will be receiving 20,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine donated by the Selangor government next Tuesday.
“We hope this contribution will accelerate the vaccination programme under the National COVID-19 Immunisation Programme,” he said.
He said the Penang government thanked the Selangor government for the donation as well as Bagan Member of Parliament Lim Guan Eng for his initiative in obtaining the contribution.
However, he said the loan of 200,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine from Selangor is still pending approval from the Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry (MOSTI).
He said the Penang state secretary had written to the MOSTI secretary-general yesterday on the approval for the loan and subsequent return of COVID-19 vaccines.
On Thursday, State Health, Agriculture, Agro-based Industry and Rural Development Committee chairman Dr Norlela Ariffin expressed her gratitude to Selangor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari, Selangor health exco Dr Siti Mariah Mahmud and SelCare clinic for agreeing to lend Penang 200,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine.