A total of 162 or 0.1% of the 30,000 teachers in Kedah have yet to receive the Covid-19 vaccine.
State Religion, Education and Human Resource Committee chairman Datuk Najmi Ahmad said these unvaccinated primary and secondary school teachers were not allowed to teach students face-to-face.
"Teachers who have not been vaccinated still need to attend school but will be placed in a separate place to ensure the health and safety of students and other teachers.
"I'm not sure why they haven't taken the vaccine yet. Maybe it's because of their own perception of the vaccine, or fear of being vaccinated because of negative news on social media," he said after handing over tablet donation from Permodalan Nasional Berhad (PNB) to 70 secondary school students in Kedah at Dewan Seri Mentaloon here.
Maktab Rendah Sains Mara (MRSM) Pendang was ordered to close for three days after three teachers tested positive for Covid-19.
Kedah Health director Dr Othman Warijo said the three teachers were also ordered to undergo home quarantine.
"The positive cases were detected between last Friday and today. Two of the teachers live outside the school while the third teacher lives in the school's quarters," he said when contacted.
Dr Othman added that 30 other teachers were also ordered to undergo home quarantine after they were identified as close contacts.
After a slow start, Kedah has finally achieved 80 per cent Covid-19 inoculation for its adult population while vaccination for its adolescent population is proceeding smoothly, with nearly 90 per cent having received their first vaccine dose.
Based on data obtained from Health Ministry's CovidNow portal, 1.29 million or 80.7 per cent of Kedahans aged 18 and above have completed their second dose of the vaccine as of Wednesday, while another 47,730 adults have taken their first jabs.
This leaves nearly 250,000 people or 16 per cent of the eligible adult population in the state yet to be vaccinated.
The Kedah government will expand and improve its vaccination facilities after the state managed to obtain more vaccine supplies from the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (Mosti).
Mentri Besar Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor said Kedah received 226,000 doses of the Covid-19 vaccine a week compared to 80,000 doses previously, hence the state government through the Covid-19 Immunisation Special Task Force (CITF) needed to speed up the vaccination process in the state.
“We will open a mega vaccination centre (PPV) at SP Sport Centre (in Sungai Petani) with a capacity of 5,000 doses per day in collaboration with ProtectHealth Corporation Sdn Bhd, making it the largest integrated PPV in Kedah. The PPV will start operating on August 6,” he said in a statement here today.
Forty-two staff of Sultan Abdul Halim Hospital (HSAH) in Sungai Petani were detected positive for Covid-19 as at today, said Kedah Health director Dr Othman Warijo.
The hospital employees comprising doctors and nurses are now undergoing quarantine in their respective homes.
“Earlier, 30 staff were infected with Covid-19 and 12 more were infected (since yesterday and today) and are in quarantine at home as they are in category one and two infection.
“We have not confirmed if they were infected with the Delta, Beta or the old variant,” he told reporters today.
A total of 42 healthcare workers at Sultan Abdul Halim Hospital (HSAH) have contracted Covid-19 as of Friday (July 9), but there is no confirmation on if these involve coronavirus variants.
"There is still no confirmation if they contracted variants of concern or of interest," said Kedah Health Department director Dr Othman Warijo.
He was commenting on a report that 30 members of the hospital's staff, including doctors, nurses and cleaners were reported to have contracted the more infectious variants Delta and Beta Covid-19 variants.
"The hospital recorded 12 more cases, all of whom are at Stage 1 and 2 and are being home quarantined, "
Many people in Kedah especially workers are eagerly looking forward to be vaccinated, saying inoculation is the only way to protect them and others against Covid-19.
That is the sentiment of factory executive Mohd Firdaus Alfred Abdullah, 39, who has to go to work every day during the current full movement control order (MCO).
“I have small children at home; I really want to get vaccinated quickly so that I don’t have to worry about going to work. I’ve registered for vaccination since February,” he told Bernama here today.
Sharing his concern is Qhairul Mariah Abd Rahman, 38, who said she had been looking forward to getting vaccinated as she felt it was the only way to be protected against the raging Covid-19 pandemic.
Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob today announced an enhanced movement control order for the Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) campus in Sintok, Kedah, which is set to last from Sunday to June 26.
He said the decision was made based on a suggestion from the Ministry of Health (MoH) that took into account a high number of Covid-19 cases, and a high infectivity rate, among the students at the campus.
“In a week, MoH found there was a rise of cases, numbering 18 recorded positive cases, as a result of 208 screenings conducted on the university’s occupants,” he said in a statement.
Kedah Mentri Besar Kedah Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor today urged Covid-19 vaccine recipients in the state to turn up for their vaccination appointments.
He said skipping the appointments without reasonable grounds was an irresponsible act that could lead to the failure of the vaccination programme’s objectives.
“(Of course), there is a list of replacements available, but I hope there will not be any no-shows from now on as this is irresponsible behaviour,” he told newsmen after visiting the Stadium Sultan Abdul Halim vaccination centre here today.
He was commenting on reports quoting Kedah Health Director Dr Mohd Fikri Ujang that some 10,827 registered vaccine recipients in the state had failed to turn up for their appointments between April 19 and May 22.
A total of 10,827 individuals who registered as Covid-19 vaccine recipients in the state failed to turn up for their vacination appointment between April 19 and May 22.
Kedah Health director Dr Mohd Fikri Ujang said the number involved 35 per cent of the 30,100 individuals who had registered and were given appointments through the MySejahtera application under the second phase of the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme implementation.
“The number involves individuals who were supposed to come and receive the injections at public vaccination centres (PPV), Health Ministry’s health clinic PPV, private clinic PPV and private hospital PPV.
“However, the vaccines were then administered to a waiting list that met the criteria of phase two, namely the elderly and those suffering from chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, heart problems and so on,” he said when contacted, here, today.
Medical personnel in Kedah hospitals have to make a tough choice in balancing treatment for chronically ill patients, says health and local government committee chairman Datuk Dr Mohd Hayati Othman.
This is after the state saw an increase in the number of Covid-19 patients who suffered complications and had to be placed in the intensive care units (ICU).
Another Low-Risk Quarantine and Treatment Center (PKRC) will be opened in Jitra, Kedah as the existing PKRC is unable to cope with the rising number of Covid-19 cases in the state.
State Health and Local Government Committee chairman, Datuk Dr Mohd Hayati Othman said the state Health Department (JKN) had identified a hall in Jitra deemed suitable to be used as a PKRC, but the plan had previously been postponed due to technical problems.