Tuesday, 6 July 2021

Factors must be considered before we come up with vaccine passport mechanism

 Recently I have mentioned that we are hopeful for the ‘vaccine passport’ mechanism to be sorted out soon to encourage interstate and foreign travels but our state’s entry points would remain closed to visitors even if the state had achieved its target of having 80 per cent of its population vaccinated against Covid-19 in August.

This is due to the vaccination rate in other states in Malaysia which is still comparatively low, and also on the emergence and threats of new variants such as the highly-transmissible Delta variant of Covid-19.

As the minister in charge of tourism in Sarawak, I personally would like to see our entry points open, but the current situation is not permitting with the many new variants such as the Delta, and with many (people) yet to be vaccinated, this would not happen soon.

We cannot just look from Sarawak’s perspective before the vaccine passports are to be issued before our entry points are to be opened and we have to look from Malaysia’s perspective. If we are looking forward to issuing vaccine passports to individuals who had completed their two-dose Covid-19 vaccination, all these factors must be taken into consideration.

Previously on June 20, our Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah had regarded the ‘vaccine passport’ proposal as one of the measures being considered for interstate and international travel.

Later on June 21, the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (PICK) Coordinating Minister Khairy Jamaluddin had announced that Singapore might become the first foreign country to recognise the MySejahtera application as Malaysia’s ‘vaccination passport’ and thus, might allow fully-vaccinated Malaysians to enter the island country.

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