Junz Wants GRS to Reveal Vaccine Rollout Plan

KOTA KINABALU:  Warisan Vice President, Datuk Junz Wong has urged the Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) administration to reveal the Covid-19 rollout plan, in order to speed up Sabah’s vaccination rate.

In a statement released on Tuesday, Junz said that he has received many public complains regarding messy crowd controls, shortage of vaccine supplies, synchronized red tapes, months-long waiting and so forth.

“People are fed up because the vaccination programs are not carried out efficiently.”

“There are more than 150 PPVs or vaccination centres in Sabah. More than 10 are in and around the KK area.”

“Most people are aware of PPVs like the one in SICC or UMS. But how many people are aware that there are also PPVs in Putatan or Bukit Padang?”

“When residents from Putatan, KK, Sepanggar, Luyang and Kepayan all rush to a specific PPV like PPV SICC, a sudden mass walk-in happens. That’s why the photos and videos of the crowd in PPV SICC surfaced.”

“But how can more than 5,000 people squeeze into a particular PPV, when only 2,000 vaccines are available for that day?”

“Just examples for illustration purposes: Every PPV has been given specific number of vaccines everyday, like 1,000 doses for smaller PPVs and 2,000 doses for bigger PPVs.”

“When 5,000 walk-in to any PPV, of course we end up with a shortage.”

“But is it true that Sabah does not have enough vaccines?”

“Because there are cases, where one PPV runs out of vaccines, another PPV somewhere else injected 200 to 300 vaccines on the same day, resulting in an ‘oversupply’ situation.”

“So those with an ‘oversupply’ situation end up sending out WhatsApp messages too.”

“You see what has happened? Some say walk-in here, some say walk-in there. Some say here overcrowded, some say there nobody. Some say here not enough vaccines, some say there too many vaccines.”

Zooming in on the cause, Junz said that he has been in communication with senior civil servants, doctors and frontliners to understand the issues better.

“The main reason is poor coordinations and poor communication, which has resulted in confusion and overlapping roles among various bodies.”

“Just to shed some light, the structure has too many heads with each planning their own activities.”

“At the Federal level, the vaccine rollout programme is executed by the Special Committee for Ensuring Access to Covid-19 Vaccine (JKJAV), which is co-chaired by the Minister of Science and Technology (Khairy Jamaluddin) and Health Minister (Adham Baba).”

“Through this JKJAV, there is the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (PICK) and the Public-Private Partnership Covid-19 Industry Immunisation Programme (PIKAS).”

“At the Federal level, the plan between Khairy’s Ministry and Adham’s Ministry seems quite clear-cut.”

“So by right, at the Sabah-level, the Head of Sabah CITF should be coordinating with the Sabah Health Minister to draft and finalize a vaccine rollout plan for Sabah.”

“This rollout plan shall include the coordination of vaccine supplies, set up of PPVs, mobile services etc. It shall include comprehensive and detailed targets to meet within a specific time frame.”

“Upon finalizing all these, the government will then publicize it statewide to guide, teach and educate Sabahans why and how to register MySejahtera.”

“But that is not happening because there is no Health Minister.”

“So how now? Who is really organizing and coordinating all these vaccination programs?”

“Is the Sabah Health Director running the show?”

“The new Health Director is new and will probably need some time to grasp Sabah’s geography and situation.”

“I was told that she does not have the support of certain agencies and bodies, including the Kota Kinabalu Mayor. Probably because nobody knows who is running the show?”

“Or is the Sabah CITF Head running the show?”

“Problem is, the Sabah Covid-19 Immunisation Task Force (CITF) is headed by a senior public servant, who no offence, has no medical background. She is neither a frontliner. In other words, a beauracrat.”

“One problems after another.”

“Is that why Sabah has resorted to sudden mass walk-in registrations to push up the statistics?”

“Just recently, there was even an announcement that PTIs can walk-in to vaccine at SICC!”

The Tanjung Aru State Assemblyman also questioned GRS’s decision to appoint Qhazanah Sabah to purchase another 250,000 doses of vaccine.

“Recently, GRS said that it has spent a huge amount of money to acquire another 250,000 doses of vaccine through a GLC called Qhazanah Sabah (formerly Warisan Harta).”

“They say, it is to speed up the vaccination rate.”

“But as I explained above, the issue is not the number of doses. It is the distribution network involving coordination and organisation.”

“How is Qhazanah’s additional 250,000 doses going to fit into the current rollout programmes, given that it is already in a mess?”

“Which programme is going to administer these vaccines? PICK or PIKAS?”

“How will GRS ensure that this 250,000 doses do not cause double lapping or more complications when it comes to MySejahtera records?”

“There are already thousands of cases where doses administered end up not tallying with MySejahtera records.”

“Some have applied for months and haven’t got a schedule, some have taken their first dose but still to receive their second appointment date, some have taken both doses but records on MySejahtera do not reflect as such.”

“There are already enough complications needed to be sorted out. Why add more complications?”

“Speaking of financial prudence, isn’t that such a stupid move to waste millions to purchase vaccines, when there are already enough supplies?”

“Couldn’t GRS just work on the problems at hand, and if vaccine is not enough, ask for more for free from the Federal Government?”

“The problem is the absence of important information on vaccine dissemination and information on a clear rollout plan.”

“I am sure, with a clear rollout plan, people in Putatan would not go all the way to UMS if they know where in Putatan they could be vaccinated. Likewise for people in other areas.”

He also lamented that former Chief Minister, Datuk Seri Panglima Shafie Apdal foresaw such problems and implemented solutions years ago, only to be abolished by the current administration.

“All these wouldnt have happened if GRS kept the Sabah Health Ministry to lead and coordinate the vaccination programs and oversee the entire Covid situation.”

“Now you see why during the Warisan-era, Datuk Seri Panglima Shafie Apdal created a Sabah Health Ministry?”

“Sabah needs a coordinator or a focal point to coordinate various bodies.”

“But GRS thought otherwise and abolished the Sabah Health Minister.”

“Now the entire Sabah is in a mess that we could have avoided.”

“Do you remember how arrogant and foolish certain GRS leaders were, when they claimed that the Health Minister is not important and irrelevant, right in the middle of a pandemic?”

To that, Junz said that current government must remedy the situation.

“Sabah needs one head to lead and coordinate all these ground activities to ensure the vaccination programme is run efficiently. ”

“It is already late, but not too late. Things have happened, but we can still fix this.”

“My proposal to GRS is to appoint and empower the new Sabah Health Director, Dr. Rose Nani Mudin as the head and keyperson to take charge of all Sabah’s vaccine rollout plans and Covid-19 related issues for Sabah.”

“Since we have no Health Minister, the Health Director who is an experienced doctor and frontliner herself, should be empowered in order to rectify the mess and salvage the situation.”

“With a one head and proper detailed rollout plans, it can be done. I believe she can do it with enough support from all relevant agencies.”

“And from here on, GRS must also propagate Sabah’s vaccine rollout plans, so that everyone understands the plan.”

“I believe every Sabahan wants to participate and contribute to ending the Covid Pandemic in Sabah.”

“But how do we participate when we don’t know the plan is?”