Friday 01 Mar 2024
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KUALA LUMPUR (June 20): Proof of Covid-19 vaccination may be made a requirement for interstate and foreign travel once more people are fully vaccinated, said Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.

The vaccine passport proposal is one of the measures being considered for interstate and international travel, Astro Awani quoted him as saying on its news portal.

"This has not been implemented but is being considered. There must be SOPs (standard operating procedures) for entering the mosque, and vaccine passport for interstate travel," Dr Noor Hisham said at a webinar on Islam and current affairs organised by Pertubuhan Intelektual Negara and Persatuan Ulama' Malaysia.

This is not the first time the government has mooted the idea of a vaccine passport.

In April, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said the National Security Council had discussed issuing certificates to individuals who are fully vaccinated for Covid-19 to give them the privilege of travelling, domestically and internationally.

During the webinar, Dr Noor Hisham also said that the country hopes to achieve herd immunity status by the end of the year, but this would depend on the vaccination process which will be expanded as soon as possible.

"If we achieve herd immunity, perhaps we can carry out other initiatives including having to prove you are vaccinated before going to the mosque, or for other religious activities.

"The vaccine is the backup now. So give two to three months to raise the vaccine (rate). We will probbaly be able to achieve herd immunity by November or December," Astro Awani quoted him as saying.

Dr Noor Hisham also highlighted that it is still premature to allow social activities including mosque activities although some congregants have already been vaccinated.

"Right now the problem is that there are still many people who have yet to be vaccinated. Less than 10% (of the population) have been vaccinated.

"If we give the go-ahead too soon, people will be angry since many people are still not vaccinated," he said.

Yesterday (June 19), Malaysia administered 164,282 Covid-19 doses.

Cumulatively, 5.68 million Covid-19 vaccine doses have been administered so far, with 1.59 million people having been fully vaccinated.

Kuala Lumpur remained as the state with the highest number of individuals who received their first dose yesterday at 697,411, followed by Selangor (626,510), Sarawak (570,994), Johor (369,859) and Sabah (316,881).

Meanwhile, Selangor saw 207,077 individuals complete their second dose of vaccination yesterday, followed by Sarawak (181,690), Johor (161,082), Perak (147,250) and Sabah (131,966).

Edited ByS Kanagaraju
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