PETALING JAYA • Malaysia is set to open four more mega vaccination centres (PPVs) today in the country's busiest Klang Valley region, which covers the capital Kuala Lumpur and represents about a quarter of the country's population, as it continues to accelerate its Covid-19 immunisation drive.
The new mega PPVs - two in Kuala Lumpur and another two in Selangor - will be able to serve a total of 23,000 people daily when fully operational.
The KL PPVs are at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre and Axiata Arena Bukit Jalil, and the two in Selangor are at Setia City Convention Centre and UiTM Puncak Alam.
Klang Valley currently has only one PPV, located at the Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre in Segambut, a suburb of Kuala Lumpur. The centre opened on May 30.
The 51,000 sq m facility has the capacity to vaccinate about 2,000 people a day, but aims to increase this to 6,000 people daily.
Coordinating minister for the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme Khairy Jamaluddin had previously said The Mines Convention Centre in Seri Kembangan, Selangor, would also be used as a PPV.
More such centres would be opened in other states, with the Setia Spice Arena being the first in Penang. The centre is also scheduled to start operations today for the opt-in AstraZeneca vaccination programme and could administer up to 3,000 doses daily.
Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin has said more PPVs are expected to be set up, especially in densely populated areas such as Klang Valley, Penang, Johor and Sarawak, as Malaysia aims to achieve herd immunity by inoculating 80 per cent of its population by the end of the year.
Mr Khairy had described the PPVs as the "workhorse" of the inoculation programme, but also stressed that they were only one part of the strategy to distribute and administer vaccines quickly.
General practitioners (GPs) are also being marshalled in the vaccination exercise, with 1,000 GP clinics to be made vaccination centres by the end of this month.
Meanwhile, the two-hour shopping limit imposed at retail outlets has been rescinded for now, said Malaysia's Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry enforcement director Azman Adam.
He said yesterday that the decision to lift the order was made as an earlier rush to stock up on goods has eased.
"When the lockdown was announced, we did not want people rushing to such outlets.
"However, we still advise people to get (their) required items and leave the premises fast, and stay at home more," he told reporters after visiting an Ipoh hypermarket.
Just before the two-week "total lockdown" was imposed last Tuesday, Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Alexander Nanta Linggi had said shoppers would be allowed to remain in malls and shops for only up to two hours, under a tighter health protocol.
Mr Azman yesterday advised non-governmental organisations (NGOs) that wish to buy essential items in bulk for donations to get them from factories or wholesalers. "I am hoping that such NGOs will not get their supply from small sundry shops or at outlets that could affect supply for consumers," he said.
He added that those who want to buy such items in large quantities could also get in touch with the ministry, which could recommend where to get them.
Malaysia yesterday recorded 6,241 new cases, bringing the nation's total to 616,815.
THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK