KUALA LUMPUR, June 16 — The Public-Private Partnership Industrial COVID-19 Immunisation Programme (PIKAS) is expected to be able to control the spread of COVID-19 in the manufacturing sector, hence smoothen the implementation of the National Recovery Plan.
Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said based on the Ministry of Health’s (MOH) report, the sector should be given attention as it was among those badly affected by the transmission of the coronavirus in the workplace.
“PIKAS is a measure taken by the Special Committee on COVID-19 Vaccine Supply Access Guarantee (JKJAV) to reduce the COVID-19 infection rate in our country as, over the past few months, many new cases were reported in workplaces, either in factories or in worker’s accommodations.
“This is because most employers were still found to have failed to abide by the Workers’ Minimum Standards of Housing and Amenities Act 1990 (Act 466),” he said after checking the vaccination process at the Texas Instruments Malaysia Sdn Bhd vaccination centre here today.
PIKAS, which kicked off today, was initiated in response to calls from industry associations, business chambers of commerce and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to help the government accelerate immunisation of employees in the manufacturing sector, with on-site vaccination at designated factories and industrial locations.
Also present were Minister of International Trade and Industry Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali, Minister of Health Datuk Dr Adham Baba and Coordinating Minister for the National COVID-19 Immunisation Programme Khairy Jamaluddin.
Muhyiddin said apart from aiming to reduce the number of cases and alleviate the burden of government health facilities, attention was also given to ensure the vaccination rate in the country could be increased quickly to up to 300,000 shots per day.
However, he said it would depend on the supply of vaccines received by the government, which is currently in stages and not in a lump sum.
“I was informed that at this factory (Texas Instruments), for example, only 300 workers can be vaccinated per day even though it has the capability to double the number, but the vaccines have to be distributed to many designated factories as they come in stages. They don’t come in a lump sum,” he said.
At the same time, Muhyiddin also urged non-governmental organisations to play their roles in the efforts to increase registration for vaccination across the country to ensure the objectives of the national immunisation programme can be successfully achieved.