Penang CM: Suicide cases prompt authorities to focus more on mental health issues

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Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow speaks during a press conference at the Spice Arena, Bayan Baru June 6, 2021. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin
Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow speaks during a press conference at the Spice Arena, Bayan Baru June 6, 2021. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

GEORGE TOWN, June 21 — A total of 53 suicide cases were reported in Penang between January and May this year, and this has prompted the state Health Department to prioritise mental health issues.

Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said the Penang police chief had shared statistics on the number of attempted suicide and suicide cases in the state which were a cause for concern.

“There were a total 19 attempted suicide cases and 53 suicide cases reported in the state between January and May this year,” he said in a statement today.

He said the increase in such cases will be given special attention by the state Health Department especially with a focus on mental health.

As for the Covid-19 situation in the state, Chow said a total 101 factories have been ordered to close due to Covid-19 cases between the period of January and June 20 this year.

Out of the 101 factories, 45 are in central Seberang Perai, 36 in southwest district on the island, 14 in south Seberang Perai and three each in north Seberang Perai and northeast district on the island.

“The authorities will continue taking action including identifying factories that have lied to hide facts about Covid-19 cases in their premises,” he said.

He said the data shared by the state Health Department at the state special safety committee meeting on the management of Covid-19 earlier today revealed that workplace clusters are still the highest in which 37 are factory clusters, three non-manufacturing clusters, two construction site clusters, two community clusters, one detention centre cluster and one religious cluster.

Therefore, the setting up of more Covid-19 vaccination centres (PPV) in the state under Program Imunisasi Industri Covid-19 Kerjasama Awam-Swasta (Pikas) was sped up.

Chow said a total six PPV under Pikas in Penang have been approved to speed up the vaccination of factory workers in the state.

“Aside from the PPV at Bukit Jawi Gold Resort, which started operations on June 16, the PPV at Equatorial Hotel will start operations on June 28 and onsite PPVs will be set up within the premises of multinational companies,” he said.

He said the multinational companies involved are Intel Technology Sdn Bhd, Jabil Circuits Sdn Bhd, Plexus Manufacturing Sdn Bhd, respectively in Bayan Lepas, and finally, Inari Amerton Berhad in Batu Kawan.

“All of these PPVs will continue to operate to vaccinate workers from other companies until all economic frontliners have been vaccinated,” he said.

As for senior citizens with mobility issues, especially those at old folks home, Chow said a total 93 old folks’ homes have been visited under the Covid-19 vaccination outreach programme.

“A total of 3,513 residents and carers have been vaccinated under the programme as at June 20,” he said.

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