The Penang state government is requesting the central government to allow private hospitals in the state to procure Covid-19 vaccine and to dispense it to those who can afford to obtain their jabs faster.
State Health, Agriculture, Agro-based Industry and Rural Development Committee chairman, Norlela Ariffin said the matter was raised with Coordinating Minister of the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (PICK), Khairy Jamaluddin in a Vaccine Engagement Meeting yesterday.
“In the meeting yesterday, I told Khairy to allow private hospitals here to acquire vaccine so that those who can afford especially the VIP group would receive their shots faster by paying (to private hospitals).
The first phase of Covid-19 vaccinations in Penang will involve more than 30,000 frontliners, says Chow Kon Yeow (pic).
The Penang Chief Minister said he hoped that the process would be smooth with equal distribution to the state.
"The Penang government is giving full commitment to the Federal government regarding its implementation of the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme.
About 90.3 per cent of Covid-19 patients recorded between January 1 and February 12 did not display any symptoms, said Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow.
Quoting data obtained from the Health Ministry, he said there must be a focus on curbing the spread of the virus within the community, especially when sporadic spread within the community is now at 70 per cent and involves all ages.
“As of February 15, the R-naught (Rt) for the whole country is at 0.88 and Penang is at 1.01 which is still high,” he said in a statement after attending the virtual meeting of the National Security Council (NSC) as chaired by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin today.
North-east district police chief Asst Comm Soffian Santong said about 320 fines have been issued to individuals who flouted Covid-19 SOPs between January 13 and February 9 in the north-east district of Penang island.
He said the fines issued were for various offences but many were those who gathered in groups in public areas such as by the beach, behind shops or under the shed.
“We find many individuals like to gather in groups to chat with no valid reason to be outside their houses so most of the fines issued were for these people,” he said after conducting a spot check at the Cecil Street Market here today.
Police arrested a man who fired two warning shots into the air using a rifle, as he was enraged over a neighbour’s alleged affair with his wife in an incident in Sungai Semambu, here, yesterday.
Seberang Perai Tengah district police chief, ACP Shafee Abd Samad said in the incident at 1am, the victim was at home when he heard knocks on his door and found the window of the house broken.
The Consumers’ Association of Penang (CAP) has urged the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (KPDNHEP) to control the price of Covid-19 screening test at private clinics so that it is accessible to all.
CAP education officer, N.V. Subbarow said currently, the price of RT-PCR and RTK-Antigen tests at private clinics ranged between RM220 and RM388 and RM90 and RM170, respectively.
“CAP is worried that if it is not controlled, higher charges will be imposed by the private clinics.
Less than 50 per cent of foreign workers in Penang have been screened for Covid-19 as of last month, said Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow.
Chow said statistics from the state Health Department showed that less than 50 per cent of the 128,889 foreign workers in the state have undergone their swab tests.
"Based on the current situation, the state government is looking at cooperating with the private sector, including the Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) Penang to expedite the screening of factory workers, both citizens and non-citizens.
The five-star Hotel Equatorial Penang will shut down effective March 31, according to an internal memo that has gone viral on social media.
The hotel will be the latest to close after three hotels shut down last year in Penang due to the Covid-19 situation.
The memo, signed by its general manager Alan HC Ong, said staff would receive severance payments despite huge losses suffered by the hotel.
Penang has identified the first five target groups to receive one-off cash aid as part of the state’s third assistance package.
Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said the groups will receive RM10 million in aid to alleviate the impact of the movement control order (MCO).
The RM10 million is part of the larger RM20 million financial assistance package Chow had announced last week.
“The five target groups include licensed hawkers, trishaw riders, school canteen operators, hairdressers and spas and allocations for state assemblymen, MPs and constituency coordinators,” he said in a statement today.
Sanitisation operations were held at both the Tanjung Bungah and Tanjung Tokong public markets this afternoon after a hawker tested positive for Covid-19.
Tanjung Bungah assemblyman Zairil Khir Johari said the hawker has a stall at the hawker centre of the Tanjung Bungah market complex, which was at a different section from the wet market section.
“He was not operating his stall over the last few days before his results were out,” he said.
Zairil said once he was informed of the case, he had requested for the Fire and Rescue Department to conduct a sanitisation exercise at the Tanjung Bungah market complex this afternoon.
The Penang government is currently awaiting feedback from the National Disaster Management Agency (Nadma) about its request to set up two new locations for Covid-19 low-risk treatment and quarantine centre (PKRC) in the state.
Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow (pic) said the matter was made known during a special session of the National Security Council on Covid-19 management through a video conference chaired by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyidin Yassin on Wednesday (Jan 20).
"During the video conference, we agreed with the Prime Minister's suggestion that the strengthening of the efforts in facing the pandemic should involve every state. And the relevant approach should be a micromanaged prevention, implemented especially according to locality and infection trend," he said in a statement on Wednesday (Jan 20).
THE Penang government is monitoring the distribution of aid to the poor during the movement control order (MCO) to ensure it is not disrupted.
State welfare committee chairman Phee Boon Poh said all district Welfare Departments have been told to be on alert if anyone needs aid during the period.
“It is only for two weeks and many can still go out to get provisions.
“Nevertheless, we are monitoring the situation and will extend help if necessary.”