Ramp up the vaccination drive in Penampang
Bartholomew (left), Alphonsus, and Albert (right)
7 August 2021
PENAMPANG: Several individuals from Penampang today urged the GRS-led State Government to ramp up the Covid 19 vaccination drive in the district and to mobilize grassroots leaders such as JPKKs and Ketua Kampungs in fighting the recent surge of cases while at the same time, to ensure continuous compliance of SOPs in all the villages.
It had been reported that the spike of Covid 19 cases in the State was due to the 'community clusters' where some 1,291 new cases were reported with 131 from Penampang yesterday (Friday) while the State remained to register more than 1000 daily cases for the past week.
The former MPKK Chairman for Kg. Dabak/Sapou, Alphonsus Sundangit said that the trend is indeed worrying and suggested for the State Government to introduce 'prioritized appointment' and to mobilize appointed JPKK Chairpersons and Ketua Kampungs in Penampang to assist in the vaccination drive by identifying those who are still waiting for their appointment after a month or two being successfully registered.
"I believe that by now, many Penampang folks may have already registered themselves for vaccination thru the MySejahtera app and I have heard of complaints before that some have yet to receive their doses despite having registered a couple of months earlier.
I don't know if this issue is still ongoing but if it is so, then what the State Government can do is introduce 'a prioritized vaccination appointment' for those who have been waiting for a long time and thereafter, to authorise grassroots leaders such as JPKKs and Ketua Kampungs to identify and submit the names to those in charge at nearby PPVs," he said today.
Most of us don't even know how fast can we secure our appointment after we registered in the MySejahtera app - some said a month and others said depending on the available doses so it would be good too if the Government could tell us about this, he added.
Meanwhile, the former MPKK Chairperson of Kg Nampasan, Albert Chuan said that the State Government can instruct the grassroots leaders not only in Penampang but all over the districts in Sabah to do daily roundups in their respective villages to ensure nobody flouted the SOPs.
"Look at the daily Covid 19 reports involving sub-urban and rural areas in Sabah - some are from a funeral or even festivity which I presumed, a gathering that exceeds 20 people.
This, I believe tells us that, unlike in the cities where people get compounded immediately for flouting SOPs, grassroots monitoring of Covid 19 in Sabah is comparatively weak hence the State Government should instruct the JPKKs to make daily roundups in their respective villages to ensure no activity that flouts the SOPs is happening.
And obviously, the JPKKs should discharge their responsibilities in a courteous and friendly manner to avoid unnecessary tensions with their fellow villagers who may feel slighted when being reminded," he added.
The affiliate member of Penampang Act of Kindness Association (PAKA), Batholomew Jingulam meanwhile said that while it is understandable why the movement control is being enforced, the State Government should act with prudence and justice whenever they decide to restrict the movement of the people.
"There has to be a balance on the part of our State Government between acting prudently to save lives by restricting the movement of the population within an area and in acting with justice by rendering to those affected what is due to them.
In the case of EMCO affected areas in Sabah particularly in Penampang, the State Government should provide immediate assistance and food baskets including infant formula milk to those affected because these are not deemed to be 'contributions' from the Government in the likes of contributions by the MP Office of Penampang, PAKA or any other NGOs but rather, 'what is due by the State Government to them' in lieu of the restriction having being emplaced.
But what saddened me is that this is not the case and especially in some villages affected by EMCO in this district where I understand it, suffered delayed assistances," he said.
Meanwhile, the Member of Parliament for Penampang, Datuk Darell Leiking said that the State Government must prioritize the vaccination drive in the district of Penampang in view of the status held by that district as the satellite town for Kota Kinabalu.
"Being located just side by side with Kota Kinabalu, Penampang primarily serves as the residential and small commercial services hubs for those working in the city hence there is a low-cost need for the State Government to push for the vaccination drive here.
This is more so when Penampang, especially Donggongon and other commercial areas in this district is the major attraction for youths from all over the State to come and work whom I believe, would normally be renting in many of the low-cost apartments and shophouses in groups and unknowingly to all of us, these Sabahan youths are exposed to the deadly virus especially the Delta variant.
Our State Government has an obligation to protect the lives of these innocent Sabahan youths who left their hometowns in search of work here and being a host to them, Penampang really need to ensure their safety and while we may not be able to arrange for their vaccination per se, we may at least be able to protect them if the district achieves the 80% immunity herd," he said.