KOTA KINABALU, Aug 6 — Sabah will use vaccination as its main strategy to contain the COVID-19 pandemic which has now seen a spike in sporadic cases in the community, State Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun said.
The State COVID-19 spokesman said the COVID-19 virus is now in the community, and as such, ramping up the vaccination programme is seen as the best way to break the chain of infection instead of relying on isolation.
For example, he said Kota Kinabalu, which has a population of about 650,000, is facing the threat of sporadic infections, in which the actual source proved rather difficult to be identified, which has made isolation less effective.
“We cannot isolate the entire 650,000 people of Kota Kinabalu from the other districts, so the best way is to ramp up vaccinations. This is the new strategy for Sabah, nothing else matters.
“Once everyone in Sabah has been vaccinated, the virus will run out of victims and so, in facing this, we cannot hide any longer. The best way is for us to take the bull by the horns and increase the vaccination rate,” he said when contacted by Bernama today.
In this regard, Masidi said the plan to use vaccination as its main strategy is scheduled to be presented at the state Cabinet meeting next Wednesday (August 11).
“We discussed this with the Chief Minister (Datuk Hajiji Noor) yesterday and this proposal will be brought to the Cabinet meeting, and the state government will most likely announce several proactive initiatives to accelerate the vaccination process in Sabah,” he said.
He said Sabah’s biggest challenge was to have consistent access to vaccine supplies so that there are no disruptions to its vaccination programmes.
“In the effort to boost our vaccination capacity, it is important that the vaccines are delivered according to schedule. If the suppliers are behind in delivery, the state government cannot just be quiet and not do anything, and instead, we have to find ways to get them such as through company procurement,” he said.
On the latest situation on COVID-19, Masidi said 1,291 new infections were reported in Sabah today, with 772 cases, or almost 60 per cent, identified through close contact, while 299 cases or 23.2 per cent were sporadic.
On Wednesday, (Aug 4) a total of 46,840 doses of COVID-19 vaccine were administered in Sabah, taking the total number of vaccinations in the state to 1.38 million doses, of which 967,555 were first doses and the rest second doses.