Malaysians fear possible Covid-19 cluster from crowded KLCC vaccination centre

People queuing outside the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre vaccination centre on July 28, 2021. PHOTO: BERNAMA

KUALA LUMPUR - Long lines stretching more than 2km from the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC) vaccination centre (PPV) sparked concerns of another Covid-19 cluster-in-waiting, as hundreds of workers waited to get their jabs.

Social media was set abuzz after several video clips and pictures of the situation at the vaccination centre on Wednesday (July 28) were shared on various platforms and drew criticism from the public.

"This is my everyday route to go to my building from LRT KLCC so can you imagine these three days I've been facing this situation. I'm scared!" said Twitter user @sheszerazezan, referring to the KLCC light rail transit station.

Another user identified as @1negara1 blamed employers for failing to let their workers get their shots at the appointed times.

"This is due to the irresponsible attitude of the employer. Not following the appointment. Just simply send. The government should compound their employers, follow the head count," the user said.

To accelerate vaccination among workers in the manufacturing sector, the government launched the Public-Private Partnership Covid-19 Industry Immunisation Programme on June 16. KLCC is one of the centres in the programme.

Malaysia is ramping up its Covid-19 inoculation programme and hopes to achieve herd immunity by year-end as it battles a fresh wave of infections.

As at Wednesday, 6.105 million people, or 18.7 per cent of Malaysia's population, had been fully inoculated, while another 12.841 million people, or 39.3 per cent, had received at least their first dose.

Mr Khairy Jamaluddin, the coordinating minister for the inoculation programme, told Parliament that more than a million vaccine doses were administered over the past two days alone.

According to social media postings, long queues at the KLCC PPV were a common sight for the past three days, prompting police to issue a statement.

Dang Wangi police chief Mohamad Zainal Abdullah said employers should follow the scheduled times for their workers' vaccinations.

"We ask employers not to send their foreign workers too early to the KLCC PPV to avoid overcrowding. There will be many foreign workers from Kuala Lumpur, Selangor and Negeri Sembilan who will be sent there to receive their inoculation at the KLCC PPV," he said.

However, Madam Azira Shaharuddin, who received her inoculation at the centre, said the experience was smooth.

"The process was very fast, no need to stand in queue long because inside, it was very orderly and they make sure our profile on MySejahtera is low risk," the lecturer, 37, told The Straits Times, referring to the country's contact tracing mobile app. She said migrant workers were being separated from the locals.

Responding to the crowd situation, the Covid-19 Immunisation Task Force said it is working with police to limit vehicles ferrying large groups coming from outside of the Klang Valley for their vaccinations.

The task force also said it had revised appointment times for some recipients to reduce the congestion.

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