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  • Writer's pictureIlona Andrew

Achieving herd immunity, SOP compliance key to battle Covid-19 - Masidi

Datuk Masidi Manjun

30 July 2021

By Ilona Andrew

KOTA KINABALU: Imposing lockdown or enhanced movement control order (EMCO) is no longer effective in curbing the spread of Covid-19.

Instead, achieving herd immunity and adherence to Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) are the ways to go for Sabah to effectively win the prolonged war against the invisible enemy.

This was expressed by Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun, following the alarming increase of Covid caseload in the state. It was reported today that Sabah's cases have surpassed 1,000 - the highest this year.

He said close contact is already the highest group of daily cases, 60 per cent as of July 30, consisting circle of friends.

"Once the virus is already in the community, lockdown is no longer an effective method in curbing the Covid-19 transmission. Each of us may have unconsciously been a carrier of the virus, whether we have been vaccinated or not.

"Every one of us is now a potential virus carrier. We can infect the people around us even if we are under a lockdown or living in areas under EMCO.

In the past, a lockdown was effective as infections occurred only in restricted or localised areas. Now, the infection is among communities," he said in a statement.

Implementing a lockdown or EMCO continuously would only cripple the state's economy and the provisions of assistance or subsidies would then be limited, Masidi added.

"The key to fighting and managing this pandemic is SOPs compliance and improving

vaccination rates among the population. Up to 50,000 doses per day are being given today and will be increased to 60,000 depending on the vaccine supplies.

"The people are already feeling fatigued for being in confined conditions and may have been somewhat complacent in complying with SOPs. SOP compliance helps us avoid getting infected.

"Meanwhile, vaccination gives us up to 90 per cent immunity from viral infections. While we can still be infected, the effect is mild and does not require hospitalisation. It’s not life-threatening," he asserted.

Masidi also mentioned that the strategies are what will be the government's approaches now while indicating that lockdown may no longer be imposed.

Increasing vaccination rates among the people of Sabah to achieve herd immunity and effective enforcement of SOP compliance proved to be more effective in lowering the number of infections per day. These approaches have already proven effective.

"What is necessary is an adequate supply of vaccines and an uninterrupted delivery schedule."