FT Ministry aiming to vaccinate 80% of population by Oct

The Federal Territories Ministry is targeting to achieve the herd community earlier with more than 80% or about 2 million of its population, especially in Kuala Lumpur, to complete the Covid-19 vaccination by this October. Its minister, Tan Sri Annuar Musa said the effort was being made through the MYMedic@Wilayah Mobile Vaccine Truck and the involvement of several private clinics to provide an alternative to the existing Vaccination Centres (PPV). “We will provide seven mobile vaccine trucks and there are seven other private clinics that will be involved in this free vaccination programme, with an average of 4,000 to 5,000 injections per day,” he said. The programme will focus on public housing areas, people’s housing projects (PPR) and traditional villages, to be conducted as early as next month. Apart from that, Annuar said the Covid-19 vaccination programme in private clinics would also be carried out, with 29 out of 60 applications having been approved by the Health Ministry. (Malay Mail)

Malaysia to get nearly 16 million more doses of Covid-19 vaccines by July

Malaysia, which is currently ramping up its vaccination efforts to flatten the Covid-19 infection curve, is expecting nearly 16 million more doses of vaccines in the next two months. National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme’s coordinating Minister Khairy Jamaluddin told the media that the additional vaccines expected to arrive by July include 2.2 million doses of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine, 12 million doses of Sinovac vaccine and 1.2 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine. Meanwhile, Khairy said the Government intends to expedite the vaccination programme to achieve herd immunity, which is to have 80% of the population receive the vaccine jabs. In view of the overwhelming response to voluntarily receive AstraZeneca vaccines, Khairy said the government decided not to offer the vaccine on a voluntary opt-in basis anymore. He revealed that the Government is mulling over letting the public choose the vaccine they want and the venue and date to receive it. “We are working on a few options right now, and will probably announce that in the next couple of weeks,” added Khairy. (The Edge)

No baby boom in Malaysia this year despite MCO, says Chief Statistician

The country did not experience a baby boom this year despite the implementation of the movement control order (MCO) as a much lower number of babies were born in the first quarter of 2021, according to the Department of Statistics Malaysia. Based on demographic data, there was a significant 10.8% drop or 102,969 decrease in babies born in the first quarter of 2021. Chief Statistician Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Uzir Mahidin said there was no baby boom in the first quarter of 2021 as anticipated following the MCO due to Covid-19 pandemic. “Selangor recorded the highest live births with 19,729 births (19.1%) while Labuan recorded the lowest (368 births or 0.4%),” he noted. The country also recorded a 0.7% increase in the number of deaths in the first quarter of 2021, with a total of 43,545. The Statistics Department revealed that Malaysia’s population in the first quarter of 2021 increased by 0.4% compared to the same period in the previous year, with an estimate of 32.75 million people. “The composition of population aged 65 years and over (old-age) increased from 2.26 million to 2.37 million during the same period. This trend is in line with other developed countries that are heading towards ageing population,” it noted. (The Star)

CIDB to enhance monitoring, enforcement of SOP at construction sites

The Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) has given the assurance that monitoring and enforcement of the prescribed standard operating procedures (SOP) in construction sites will be enhanced to curb the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. CIDB Chief Executive Datuk Ahmad Asri Abdul Hamid said the SOP in construction sites had been enhanced under the current Movement Control Order (MCO) 3.0 with sterner actions to be taken against violators. “Among the aspects that we have enhanced are making it compulsory for local workers and foreign workers to undergo the Covid-19 screening test to prove they are negative for Covid-19 and not allowing the transfer of workers to other construction sites,” he said. Ahmad Asri said since March 18 last year, CIDB had conducted about 17,000 inspections at construction sites, adding contractors should also play a role to ensure their workers adhere to the SOP. “Many people believe that the construction sector should be completely closed as we did on March 18 last year (MCO 1.0), but it involves losses of about RM11.6 billion a month and this will cause many parties to lose income and jobs,” he said. (The Edge)

MCO 3.0: Jawi sets new rules for Friday, obligatory prayers

Starting today, only 50 worshippers are allowed to perform the Friday prayers at mosques and surau with a capacity of 1,000 people and above in the Federal Territories. Federal Territories Islamic Religious Department (Jawi) director Datuk Mohd Ajib Ismail said only 20 worshippers were allowed to perform the Friday prayers at mosques and surau with a capacity of 1,000 people and below. For obligatory prayers at mosques, Friday surau and surau, the number in the congregation should not exceed 12 people consisting of committee members and mosque officials. For areas placed under the enhanced movement control order (EMCO), Mohd Ajib said the Friday prayers would be replaced with Zohor prayers, and only three congregants were allowed to perform obligatory prayers at mosques and surau. Funeral arrangements for non-Covid-19 patients in EMCO areas must be conducted at home or private premises, limited to five personnel. (Malay Mail)