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Malaysians who have been fully vaccinated may soon be able to reap the benefits of getting both jabs.
According to Khairy Jamaluddin, the country’s COVID-19 National Immunization Program (PICK) coordinating minister, Malaysia is in talks with Singapore to approve recognition of people’s vaccination status using their MySejahtera contact tracing app.
In other words, Singapore might consider allowing Malaysian travelers into the island state, provided they’ve been issued a ‘Digital Certificate’ on their MySejahtera app – essentially a vaccine passport.
This could make Singapore the first country in the world to recognize Malaysia’s MySejahtera as a digital vaccine passport.
IMAGE: The Straits Times / AsiaOne
There are more talks taking place with other countries to get them to recognize MySejahtera as a valid vaccine status indicator. But for now, excitement is building up for Malaysians eager to travel to Singapore during the pandemic.
“Once you have the yellow profile on your MySejahtera, that means you are fully vaccinated,” Khairy explained to Malaysian outlet The Star. “We will use the QR code once the COVID-19 Emergency Management Technical Committee recommends allowing certain freedoms (such as international travel) that are not currently possible.”
This is what the ‘Digital Certificate’ looks like on the MySejahtera app. Private details omitted, duh. IMAGE: Danial Martinus / Mashable Southeast Asia
The PICK coordinating minister hinted that talks between Malaysia and Singapore were reaching a happy conclusion, with the latter expressing willingness to accept MySejahtera as a valid form of vaccine status identification among Malaysian travelers.
Reports say the government is also looking into easing restrictions for Malaysians who have already received both COVID-19 vaccine doses.
Khairy said that a technical committee under the COVID-19 Vaccine Supply Access Guarantee (JKJAV) is studying data collected from other countries who have given certain ‘privileges‘ to fully-vaccinated individuals to determine what fits the Malaysian context.
Khairy looked to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as an example.
“For example in the United States, the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention has issued a guideline for fully vaccinated people, such as allowing them to remove their face masks when meeting in a room.”
No mask, no entry. IMAGE: Channel News Asia
But Khairy stressed that the battle against COVID-19 was far from over, and that even vaccinated Malaysians should continue abiding by existing COVID-19 safety measures.
“Vaccination is very important for us to rehabilitate the country but existing SOPs such as physical distancing, wearing face masks, and others must continue to be emphasized and enforced,” he said.
Speaking of which, the number of vaccination appointments from June 21 to June 30 amount to 757,747. Seniors aged 60 and above account for the majority of those bookings (253,719), followed by people aged 50 to 59 (228,397), and 83,610 slots taken up by people aged 40 to 49.
The remaining 192,021 bookings were taken up by younger folks aged 18 to 39.
The number of active COVID-19 cases has been slowly decreasing, including the number of patients in the ICU.
Active Cases Trend between June 15 and June 20, 2021. Screenshot sourced from the MySejahtera app.
Though Malaysia had a relatively slow start in terms of vaccine rollout, it looks like health authorities are finally able to speed things up. With various vaccine initiatives in place, herd immunity doesn’t seem so unrealistic.
Keep up with COVID-19 in Southeast Asia:
Cover image sourced from Reuters / Nikkei Asia and Danial Martinus / Mashable Southeast Asia.
ที่มา : Mashable