Updated: June 22, 2021 09:56 AM GMT
A Malaysian medical worker injects a dose of coronavirus vaccine at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium in Kuala Lumpur on June 21. (Photo: AFP)
Bishops in Malaysia have pledged to contribute a sum of 1 million ringgit (US$240,000) for the Solidarity Covid-19 Fund initiated by the Tzu Chin Foundation Malaysia.
Along with other religious organizations and NGOs, the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Malaysia (CBCM) has given its endorsement and support for this initiative, according to the Herald Malaysia.
“This is an emergency fund in response to the urgent call for help from our public hospitals and healthcare professionals for the supply of varied medical equipment to cope with the high number of critical Covid-19 patients,” Father Michael Chua said in a chancery notice.
“The CBCM has pledged a sum of 1 million ringgit for the above fund and the archbishops/bishops of the conference would like to urge all the faithful to support this worthy cause by making a donation to this fund.”
All donations will go to the Tzu Chi Foundation and it is a purpose-specific fund where 100 percent of funds raised will be used for the stated purposes.
On June 11, Kuching Archdiocese also delivered personal protective equipment that included 10,000 KN95 face masks and 6,200 medical isolation gowns to Sarawak General Hospital.
More than 13 million citizens have already registered for inoculation as part of a mass vaccination program
The Church’s gesture of solidarity comes as Malaysia faces a rising tide of Covid-19 cases.
Malaysia reported 4,611 new cases on June 21, the lowest figure in over a month but still above the average of 4,000 cases. It has recorded more than 700,000 cases and 4,477 deaths from the contagion.
The country has imposed a lockdown since June 1 which is slated to end on June 28, while more than 13 million citizens have already registered for inoculation as part of a mass vaccination program.
Khairy Jamaluddin, coordinating minister for immunization, said the target of fully vaccinating 10 percent of the population — one of the key criteria to evaluate easing the ongoing lockdown — will not be fulfilled before June 28.
“By end-June, we estimate to be able to deliver eight million doses. Going by the ratio of first dose and second dose, we need to have administered 10.7 million doses in order to fully vaccinate 3.2 million of the population,” Khairy said in a Straits Times report.
“We expect to reach 10.7 million doses in mid-July.”
As of June 20, 1.6 million people, or 5 percent of Malaysia’s population, have received both doses of the vaccine. In total, 4.2 million people, or 12 percent of the population, have received at least one dose of the vaccine, according to the Straits Times.
Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin has been facing pressure from the public and constitutional monarchs for mishandling the Covid-19 response.
Muhyiddin said last week that the government will allow all economic sectors, social activities and domestic tourism by the end of the year when herd immunity is achieved with 80 percent of the 32 million population fully vaccinated.
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