GEORGE TOWN, Jan 4 — About 100 private clinics under the Penang Medical Practitioners’ Society (PMPS) are ready to offer free COVID-19 vaccination services to the people in Penang.
State Housing, Local Government, Town and Country Planning Committee chairman Jagdeep Singh Deo said the state government and PMPS reached the agreement as preliminary preparations to increase capacity and expedite vaccinations after the vaccine arrives in Malaysia.
He said the vaccines will be distributed by the Ministry of Health (MOH) to each state which will later distribute them to hospitals, as well as public and selected private clinics to provide vaccinations to the Penang residents.
“So far, 100 private clinics have agreed to provide free vaccination services to the entire population of Penang. I understand that 50 clinics in Seberang Perai, as well as 50 clinics on the island, have agreed to help the MOH increase the capacity of the vaccination process.
“We are looking at the issue of whether the existing clinics are capable of accommodating such capacity. What will happen when the vaccine arrives? We have 1.8 million people who need to be vaccinated. Can you imagine what is going to happen?” he said to reporters here today. The COVID-19 vaccine is expected to arrive in Malaysia next month.
Speaking on the question of capacity, Jagdeep said the federal government should increase the number of panel clinics that do COVID-19 screenings for foreign workers due to concerns of the spread of COVID-19.
He said that recently the Social Security Organisation (Socso) revealed that only 8.5 per cent of foreign workers in the country had been screened. He described this figure as too small.
“So far, the government has allowed 3,000 screenings per day in each state. For me, the capacity can be increased so that we can do screenings and take quick action,” he said.
He added that in Penang, only 51 clinics were authorised to conduct COVID-19 screening tests on a total of 180,000 foreign workers there.