KUALA LUMPUR (June 16): The Yang di-Pertuan Agong said today that vaccination is “the only exit strategy” to contain the Covid-19 outbreak in the country.
In a statement from the Istana Negara, Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah expressed hope that the daily new Covid-19 cases in the country can be lowered as soon as possible.
“As such, his Royal Highness said the Government must take strict measures to improve bureaucracy and hasten the vaccination process for the public so that the herd immunity objective can be achieved as soon as possible,” the statement read.
The King also said that the Parliament should be reconvened “as soon as possible” to allow lawmakers to debate the Emergency Ordinance and the National Recovery Plan.
He also expressed the view that there needs to be a stable and solid government administration that is capable of functioning effectively to combat the pandemic and restore the country's economy.
He arrived at the recommendation after taking into account the views of political party leaders, the Independent Special Committee on Emergency and experts from Government agencies, Istana Negara said.
Malaysia is currently undergoing a full lockdown or Full Movement Control Order (MCO 3.0), as part of the four-phase National Recovery Plan to gradually reopen economic and social activities as Covid-19 cases go down and vaccination rates go up.
Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, when tabling the plan on Tuesday, expressed confidence that Malaysia will be able to vaccinate 80% of its population by December this year in order to achieve herd immunity, after which all economic and social sectors would be allowed to operate.
Muhyiddin anticipates that Malaysia will be able to administer more than 300,000 vaccine doses daily “in the coming months”. Malaysia exceeded the 200,000 daily vaccination mark yesterday.
As of June 15, some 13.84 million Malaysians have registered for the vaccination, of whom 3.43 million have received at least the first dose.
On the same day, Malaysia's Drug Control Authority (DCA) approved Pfizer-BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine for children above 12 years old.
The DCA also gave conditional approval for two vaccines — from China's CanSino Biologics and the US' Johnson & Johnson (J&J). The two vaccines require only one dose to be effective, according to reports.