SEREMBAN, Oct 9 — The Ministry of Health (MOH) has prepared the standard operating procedure (SOPs) for the Melaka election and is ready to discuss with the Election Commission (EC) if the polls is given the go ahead.

Its Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said however, MOH was still waiting for the cabinet’s decision on the matter before the SOPs were scrutinised.

“We have given our views regarding the SOP election and will leave it to the cabinet to decide whether the election will continue or not.

“If it is held then the MOH already has our views on certain SOPs that need to be taken into account by the EC, it is still too early for us to make an announcement,” he told reporters after officiating the Children’s Ward and launched the MRI Machine as well as the ISO 9001: 2015 Certification at the Mawar Medical Centre, here, today.

The EC received an official notification on the dissolution of the 14th Melaka State Legislative Assembly last Monday from State Assembly speaker Datuk Seri Ab Rauf Yusoh, following the move by four assemblymen in declaring that they had lost confidence in Chief Minister Datuk Sulaiman Md Ali’s leadership, hence causing the state government led by Barisan Nasional (BN) to collapse.

Meanwhile, Khairy said the MOH has given the green light for the administration of the COVID-19 vaccine booster shot which would begin next week with Sarawak becoming the first state to start the initiative.

He said the booster shot had also been approved by the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Division (NRPA), the Drug Control Authority (PBKD) and the Special Committee for Ensuring Access to COVID-19 Vaccine Supply (JKJAV).

“We can start giving the booster shot to those who are eligible by next week…we will look at the delivery of supplies,” he said.

Khairy had previously said that priority will be given to vulnerable or high-risk groups, including individuals aged 60 and above as well as those with serious comorbidities, to receive the booster shot.

In another development, Khairy said the government was considering procuring antiviral drugs for COVID-19 treatment from several pharmaceutical companies, including from India.

However, he said the authorities would ensure that the antiviral drugs were safe and effective.

In the meantime, Khairy described the decision to allow interstate travel once the country’s vaccination rate reached 90 per cent for adults as the right move.

“If we do not allow them to travel interstate, it will also cause various problems such as mental and emotional stress. There are many who have not been able to visit their families and parents for a year,” he said.

Khairy said if the country is to wait for up to 70 per cent of the entire population to be vaccinated, then the people will have to wait longer for the state borders to reopen because 20 per cent of Malaysians comprised those aged below 12.

“There is no vaccine for children at the moment, it has not yet been approved by any regulator including the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), if we want to wait until the entire population is vaccinated, it would probably take until next year before we can allow interstate travel,” he said.


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