KUALA LUMPUR: The National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme will improve public sentiment and contribute to the improvement of economic activities, says Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
“We are targeting for the people to be vaccinated by the end of this year, with a 80% target of herd immunity. When we have protection, the economy will hopefully improve in 2022, ” he said.
As for the tourism sector, which has been badly affected by the pandemic, Muhyiddin said that he expected the industry to heal in three to four years, saying there were initiatives by the Federal Government.
“This is the most affected sector as we can’t cross borders and tourists can’t come in. Many hotels have closed and homestays are not doing anything. Taxis and tourist buses are stranded. For that reason, I have instructed the Finance Ministry to help because there are purchases such as taxis that do not use bank loans, but leasing companies that do not have a moratorium,” he said.
He said the government has also begun negotiations for the arrival of Chinese and Asean tourists through a green lane when the situation allowed.
Muhyiddin also said the government had no objections if there were those who wanted to buy their own Covid-19 vaccines, but this would have to get approval from the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA).
He said the government was also working on supplying vaccines to hospitals and the private sector to hasten the process.
“There will not be any charge because it is the responsibility of the government. We can ask the hospitals to charge RM14 for one jab while the vaccine is free, ” he said, expressing confidence in the target to achieve herd immunity in the country by the end of the year.