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Johoreans urged to take second COVID-19 booster shot; only 1.9% have done so

Only 1.9 per cent of Johoreans have taken their second COVID-19 booster shot. 

Johoreans urged to take second COVID-19 booster shot; only 1.9% have done so
A view from Singapore of the causeway linking Malaysia's southern state of Johor and Singapore. (Photo: AFP/Roslan Rahman)

JOHOR BAHRU: Johor Chief Minister Onn Hafiz Ghazi on Monday (Jan 9) called on Johoreans to get their second COVID-19 booster shot, even though the number of cases there remains “under control”.

This comes after the state’s health director said that only 1.9 per cent of Johoreans have taken a second COVID-19 booster shot.  

“Although the number of positive COVID-19 cases in Johor is still under control, I call on all Johoreans to take the second booster shot,” Mr Onn Hafiz wrote in a Facebook post.

“According to the Johor State Health Director Dr Aman Rabu, the rate of those who have taken the second booster shot in Johor remains low at 1.9 per cent.” 

The chief minister emphasised the need to be vigilant due to Johor’s position as an international entry point.

Johor has two international land checkpoints with Singapore via the Johor Causeway and the Second Link at Gelang Patah. 

“Although we are now used to living in the era of transition to an endemic phase, the emergence of new variants such as BA.5.2 and BF.7 as well as Johor's position as an international entry point will require the citizens of the state to remain vigilant,” he said. 

Amid concerns over the rise of COVID-19 cases in China, the Malaysian health ministry said on Dec 30 that all visitors entering Malaysia will have to undergo temperature screening checks for fever.

Those who are found to have a fever, are symptomatic or have self-declared their symptoms will then be sent to a quarantine centre or to the health authorities for further checks.

Additionally, those who have been to China within the last 14 days of their arrival in the country will need to undergo the RTK-Ag test (rapid antigen test).These samples will then be sent for genome testing if they are found to be positive for COVID-19.

At the same time, those who have been in close contact with people who have travelled to China in the last 14 days, or exhibit influenza-like illnesses or severe acute respiratory infection will also need to be tested for COVID-19, said the health ministry.

Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim said last Wednesday that no country will be discriminated against in Malaysia’s tighter border health checks, adding that no spike of infections could be related to any country.

“We take these steps to save our citizens. Whoever is coming in must be monitored and subject to the same conditions,” said Mr Anwar.

Meanwhile, following the loosening of COVID-19 measures in China, several countries including the United States, Canada, Japan and France have required that all travellers from China provide negative COVID-19 tests before arrival.

Malaysia had previously scrapped mandatory testing on all incoming vaccinated travellers on May 1. In September, mask-wearing became optional in most indoor places in the country.

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Source: CNA/ya(as)


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