Malaysia's Covid-19 vaccine roll-out will drive border reopening efforts with Singapore: Johor MB

The border with Singapore has been closed since the movement control order was first implemented in Mar 18, 2020.
The border with Singapore has been closed since the movement control order was first implemented in Mar 18, 2020.ST PHOTO: CHONG JUN LIANG

JOHOR BARU (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The Johor state government hopes that Malaysia's Covid-19 Immunisation Programme will help drive efforts to reopen cross-border travel between Malaysia and Singapore.

Johor Menteri Besar Hasni Mohammad said that the reopening of the border was vital in spurring the state's economy.

"Once people from both countries have been vaccinated, the movement between our two countries will be easier and safe, " he said.

The border with Singapore has been closed since the movement control order was first implemented in March 18 last year. Currently, only commercial vehicles ferrying goods cross the land border daily.

Datuk Hasni added that the state government was ready to carry out the immunisation programme at designated vaccination centres in each district statewide.

He added that for a start, he and his state executive councillors would be among the first to take the vaccine when the programme starts in Johor.

Malaysia received its first batch of more than 300,000 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines on Sunday with another batch of 182,520 doses expected to arrive on Wednesday (Feb 24), according to Bernama news agency.

Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin, who is also tasked with leading the national Covid-19 immunisation programme, said the vaccination roll-out would be brought forward to Wednesday from Friday.

Malaysia recorded 2,192 more Covid-19 infections on Monday, bringing total cases to 285,761, says the Health Ministry. Six more people died due to the coronavirus, pushing Malaysia's Covid-19 death toll to 1,062.

As at Feb 21, the total number of Covid-19 positive cases in Johor stands at 33,382 with 91 deaths.