KUALA LUMPUR, August 9 — Selangor Mentri Besar Amirudin Shari today urged the public to be patient, even as privileges for individuals fully vaccinated against Covid-19 have not yet been extended to the state.
Amirudin stressed caution amid the spread of new Covid-19 variants like Delta, Delta Plus, and Lambda. Delta is one of the main and highly transmissible variants circulating in Malaysia.
“Many health experts are of the opinion that we should not take hasty action at this critical point in time,” Amirudin said in a series of videos on Twitter, referring to the federal government’s relaxation of movement restrictions for fully inoculated people.
“I believe it’s important that we don’t take a crash landing approach. Even though vaccines are proven to be effective in preventing severe effects of Covid-19, this depends on vaccination coverage or herd immunity.”
Infectious disease expert Prof Dr Adeeba Kamarulzaman recently said scientists are slowly abandoning the idea of herd immunity for Covid-19, as they believe it is impossible to completely eliminate the coronavirus.
The Ministry of Health (MOH) reported that breakthrough infections among those with “vaccination history” comprised about 21 per cent of total Covid-19 cases detected nationwide in the past week from August 2 to 8.
Early research from the United Kingdom and the United States suggested that fully vaccinated people infected with Delta may be able to transmit the virus, as similar viral loads were found between vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals.
Yesterday, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin announced the relaxation of lockdown measures for fully vaccinated individuals, including visiting places of worship across the country, besides mandating vaccine passports for dine-ins at restaurants, domestic tourism, interdistrict travel, and sports activities in states under Phase Two and beyond of the National Recovery Plan (NRP).
Only Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya, Negeri Sembilan, Kedah, Johor, and Melaka are still under Phase One of the NRP. As of yesterday, more than half of the adult population in Negeri Sembilan and the Klang Valley have been fully vaccinated, according to official statistics from the Covid-19 Immunisation Task Force (CITF).
Amirudin also said he was working with Vaccine Minister Khairy Jamaluddin to enable stateless people or undocumented foreign workers in Selangor, who are unable to renew their workers’ pass due to the Movement Control Order (MCO), to register for Covid-19 vaccination.
“Solutions will be proposed in the nearest time, either through a temporary ID on SELangkah or other mechanisms.”