While the frontliners in the Penang mega vaccination centre (PPV) donned their face masks, their smiles and joy could be felt as they celebrated the closure of the PPV at Setia Spice Arena here today.
Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow, who officiated the closure of the mega PPV, announced that 100 per cent of Penang’s adult population had already received their second Covid-19 vaccine shot.
“I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to everyone’s commitment here in ensuring the safety and security of the state and our people,” he said in his speech.
The international tourism bubble for the Langkawi pioneer project will be opened to tourists from all countries, Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri said.
She added that the no-restriction policy was adopted as strict procedures would be in place to curb the spread of Covid-19 at the resort island.
“The procedures include ensuring arriving tourists use tour agents registered with the ministry.
“The agent will be the one who will arrange their entire journey and they will not come directly to Langkawi on their own. This is the mechanism we use, so if anything happens, like infection cases, the agent will be held responsible,” she said when answering questions from the media at an event at the Malaysia Tourism Centre (Matic) here today.
A total of 149 Covid-19 cases were found through screenings of travellers to Langkawi, says the Health Ministry.
Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said this was out of 40,458 travellers who were screened at seven airports and two ferry terminals.
“A total of 36,842 took rapid Covid-19 tests at airports and ferry terminals en route to Langkawi. Of that, 149 tested positive while another 186 individuals were identified as close contacts to the positive cases.
A popular hotel in Langkawi, Kedah has been ordered to close temporarily after more than 50 of its staff tested positive for Covid-19.
According to state health director Dr Othman Warijo, the infections — totalling 59 hotel personnel — have been categorised under the workplace cluster known as Dah Teluk Nibung cluster.
“From our investigations, the infection originated from the community and spread to the hotel,” he was quoted as saying by English daily The Star.
Two localities in Pahang involving Kampung Orang Asli Sungai Mai, Jerantut and Kampung Inoi, Rompin (Orang Asli Pinggiran village) will be come under enhanced movement control order (EMCO) starting from Tuesday to October 11.
National Security Council (MKN) director-general, Datuk Rodzi Md Saad said the decision was made after evaluating the Covid-19 infection risks and trends in the localities tabled by the Health Ministry.
“The standard operating procedure (SOP) for all EMCO is the same as announced before,” he said in a statement via Facebook today.
Only tertiary students and unenrolled teenagers can walk in to get their Covid-19 vaccination at four Covid-19 vaccination centres (PPV) in Penang, said Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow.
The Penang lawmaker said these groups of teenagers may walk in after 2pm daily at the designated PPVs to be vaccinated.
The four designated PPVs are the SPICE Convention Centre, Tapak Ekspo Seberang Jaya, Dewan Perda Convention Centre and Dewan Serbaguna Sungai Bakap.
As for students aged 16 and 17, Chow said a total 3,500 students from nine schools in the state have been given their appointments to be vaccinated at six PPVs today.
Four Covid-19 cases were discovered following screening exercises carried out at air and sea entry points to Langkawi.
Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the four were among 3,454 individuals who were screened before leaving for Langkawi.
One case each was detected at the Penang and Sultan Abdul Aziz Airport in Subang.
“Two positive cases were discovered at the Kuala Perlis jetty,” he said in his tweet on Friday (Sept 17).
Not a single compound notice was issued here on Thursday (Sept 16), the first day this island resort reopened under the travel bubble scheme, says the police.
Langkawi OCPD Asst Comm Shariman Ashari said although no compound notices were issued, police would continue monitoring standard operating procedure (SOP) compliance among locals and tourists alike.
“So far, SOP compliance among the public at tourist attractions has been good,” he said during a SOP compliance operation at the popular Pantai Cenang area.
All government and private sector agencies, statutory bodies and associations in Langkawi given the role and responsibility of ensuring the success of the pioneer tourism bubble project on the resort island have to report their activities to the Langkawi Task Force.
Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah (pic) said Langkawi district officer Saiful Anwar Azmi had agreed to head the Langkawi Task Force in implementing the project.
"Several performance indicators for health have been proposed and will be fine-tuned at the committee level," he said on social media on Sunday (Sept 12).
Police will be stricter with monitoring to ensure tourists comply with standard operating procedures (SOP) set for the tourism bubble on the resort island of LAngkawi from Thursday (Sept 16).
Deputy Inspector-General of Police Datuk Seri Mazlan Lazim said the Langkawi district police headquarters would mobilise and may increase personnel to ensure SOP compliance checks were conducted more effectively.
"Although there will be a tourism bubble in place, all visitors must comply with every SOP set.... Those who wish to come to Langkawi need to have police approval as well.
Leading up to the opening of Langkawi on Malaysia Day (September 16), subsidiaries of the Malaysia Aviation Group (MAG) — Malaysia Airlines, Firefly and MHholidays — are offering low fares and travel packages for immediate booking until September 30 for travel between September 16 and October 31, 2021.
In a statement today, the group said fully-vaccinated customers can kick start their long-awaited holiday with Malaysia Airlines’ Economy Lite fare from RM89 for all-in one-way and enjoy the perks of travelling full service with, among others, a seven-kilogramme cabin baggage allowance, complimentary snacks, meals and beverages.
“Customers looking for maximum ease of travel can also opt for the Economy Flex fare for additional benefits including unlimited date changes with no fees incurred, free refunds without a fee, Go Show flexibility, priority check-in, boarding, and check-in baggage allowance of 35kg,” it said.
The Selangor government today contributed 20,000 doses of the Covid-19 vaccine to Penang in an effort to vaccinate the rest of the population on the island state.
Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow thanked Selangor for helping it to speed up the vaccination rate in an effort to break the chain of infection.
“In the spirit of the National Day, the Selangor government has graciously donated 20,000 doses of vaccine to the Penang government for free and this is also a sign of solidarity between the people of Selangor and the state in the fight against Covid-19.