KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 22 — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob today gave an assurance that he will pursue and enhance the previous government’s strategies in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic by taking into account the views of national Public Health experts.
He said each effort and intervention by the government to bring down the number of COVID-19 cases would be done more comprehensively via strategic inter-governmental cooperation and with the involvement of all stakeholders, government agencies and private sector to ensure the country’s healthcare system is stabilised again.
He said that through the continuous efforts of the previous government, the vaccination rate in Malaysia had become one of the fastest in the world, with the country consistently rolling out more than 500,000 doses a day.
“Based on that data, therefore this government will pursue the previous government’s efforts in implementing measures in order for us to swiftly move to the next phase of recovery through herd immunity.
“To achieve the target sooner, this government will further enhance the implementation of strategies and initiatives in increasing the coverage of the National COVID-19 Immunisation Programme (PICK),” he said in his maiden speech as Prime Minister, today.
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister also announced the additional purchase of six million doses of COVID-19 vaccines, which will arrive early next month, to act as a catalyst in achieving herd immunity as in Labuan, which achieved 90 per cent of adult herd immunity.
He said that based on last Friday’s (Aug 20) data, the daily cases in Labuan had dropped consistently to a single digit for seven consecutive days.
“This does not mean that we will be completely free from the threat of COVID-19. Rather, when we have reached herd immunity, the virus will not pose a serious threat as it does now,” he said.
Ismail Sabri, who thanked all Malaysians who had given full cooperation by coming forward to be vaccinated, also urged those who have yet to register to do so as soon as possible.
“By doing so, we are assisting and appreciating the sacrifices of our frontliners who are still struggling to ensure that we can live our lives in the new norm,” he said.
He said the government was optimistic that through the success of the vaccination programme, many would be able to visit their parents in their hometowns, celebrate festivals, travel domestically as well as go back to school.