KUALA LUMPUR, July 19 — Shah Alam city councillor Muhammad Shakir Ameer today urged the government to increase Covid-19 vaccination centres (PPVs) in widely distributed community halls to avoid outbreaks in mega PPVs.
Shakir, who is also National DAP Socialist Youth deputy chief, cited the Covid-19 cluster among staff at the Ideal Convention Centre (IDCC) mega PPV in Shah Alam, as well as at least four known infections among volunteers at the Setia City Convention Centre (SCCC) mega PPV, also in Shah Alam.
CodeBlue reported yesterday that the SCCC PPV management allegedly withheld information to staff on at least four Covid-19 cases among volunteers, failed to instruct mass screening of the PPV workers, and did not produce specific guidelines on how to manage such incidents. Volunteers said they found out from their infected coworkers themselves in the volunteers’ WhatsApp group.
“This is quite serious and must be answered by Khairy Jamaluddin, Coordinating Minister of the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (PICK), as soon as possible,” Shakir said in a statement today.
He also cited cases of individuals given vaccination appointments in PPVs located far away from their homes, such as a person from Sepang sent to Sabak Bernam for his jab, or another from Kuang sent to SCCC in Shah Alam.
“Imagine if there are infections in the mega PPV, the likelihood of infecting people in other districts is high,” said Shakir.
He pointed out that a round trip from Bukit Subang in Section U16 Shah Alam to the SCCC PPV would cost RM55 in e-hailing fare.
“Although the Selangor state government is working hard to reduce the burden on people by offering an RM20 rebate through the Kita Selangor Package, for most of the B40 community, e-hailing fare of RM25 and above is still prohibitive.”
The Shah Alam city councillor suggested opening up small and medium-sized PPVs in community halls in the Selangor capital for a limited period of time so that people can get vaccinated according to their section or zone of residence, based on the Shah Alam City Council’s advice.
“With five-digit daily cases and the spread of the Delta variant, it is important to ensure the safety of PPV volunteers and workers so that vaccine recipients are also safe.
“Transparency also must be taken into account, especially when there are ‘rumours’ related to infections at whichever PPV. Explanations to the public must be made as soon as possible before the situation gets more complicated for all parties involved.”
The Covid-19 Immunisation Task Force, together with the Selangor state government, are currently ramping up vaccination through “Operation Surge Capacity”, aiming to inoculate all adults in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor by August 1. Several mega PPVs in the Klang Valley have the capacity to vaccinate thousands of people daily.