Penang conducts outreach to old folks’ homes in bid to vaccinate residents

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Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow speaks at a press conference in George Town May 3, 2021. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin
Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow speaks at a press conference in George Town May 3, 2021. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

GEORGE TOWN, May 18 — The Penang state Health Department will be taking an outreach approach to administer the Covid-19 vaccination to residents in 49 registered old folks’ homes in the state, said Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow.

The Penang lawmaker said this outreach approach will ensure that the 2,185 senior citizens in these homes will be vaccinated.

“This initiative, which is expected to start this week, will also include residents in old folks’ homes that are not registered according to the Social Welfare Department’s list,” he said in a statement issued today.

He said the initiative is a result of discussions he held with the state Health Department director, the state National Security Council director and the health state exco yesterday.

“The Penang state government has also urged for the phase two of the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme for high-risk groups that includes senior citizens to be sped up,” he said.

He said since the start of phase two on April 19, out of the 210,902 individuals who registered through MySejahtera, only 31,412 individuals had received their first dose as of May 15.

Out of the 21,902 who registered, a total of 125,866 individuals are those who are aged above 60.

He said the number of those vaccinated is far below the targeted 460,800 individuals who should be vaccinated under phase two.

“This shows the percentage of those who received the vaccine is very unsatisfactory,” he said.

He also called on those under phase two to immediately register for the vaccination.

As for the mass screening of workers in the manufacturing sector, Chow said the state will go ahead with conducting the RT-PCR test using Deep Throat Saliva (DTS) in collaboration with the Penang branch of the Federation of Manufactures Malaysia (FMM).

“We will go ahead with this initiative after obtaining information in terms of logistics especially on the location of the laboratories and coordinating with the state Health Department to ensure the quarantine centres’ capacity is sufficient,” he said.

Chow said over the past two weeks, about 60,000 screening tests were conducted on those with close contacts, those with symptoms and sporadic cases at both public and private health facilities.

He called on those with symptoms or those who believe they have been in close contact with Covid-19 positive cases to immediately go for a swab test.

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