State athletes get vaccinated at Curtin Vaccination Centre

Miri – 15 July 2021 – 49 Miri athletes who have been selected to represent Sarawak in next year’s Malaysia Games (SUKMA 2022) were vaccinated against COVID-19 at the Pusat Pemberian Vaksin (PPV) or vaccination centre at the Recreation & Event Centre at Curtin University Malaysia (Curtin Malaysia) on Tuesday.

On hand to witness the vaccination of the athletes was Sarawak Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture and Minister of Youth and Sports, Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah. He was accompanied by Minister of Transport Datuk Lee Kim Shin, who is the coordinating minister for the Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) in Miri and chair of Curtin Malaysia’s Management Committee, and Assistant Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Datuk Sebastian Ting Chiew Yew.

Also present were Nancy Haji Jolhi, acting Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Youth and Sports Sarawak; Abdul Aziz Bin Mohd. Yusuf, Resident of Miri; Dr. Ong Kong Swee, Chief Executive Officer of Sarawak Sports Corporation, and Ir. Pieter Willem Pottas, Chief Operating Officer of Curtin Malaysia.

A press conference was also held during the visit, at which the minister stated that Sarawak is on track to completing the vaccination of its athletes, coaches and sports officials, including those who are currently training with the various national teams based in Peninsular Malaysia.

“We are on track to getting all of our 808 athletes, their coaches and sports officials vaccinated as part of our preparations for the Malaysia Games which will be held in Johore,” he said.

According to Datuk Abdul Karim, Sarawak Sports Corporation (SSC) together with the Sarawak Sports Council (MSN Sarawak) have successfully secured the vaccinations of 472 athletes, coaches and sports officials while another 240 athletes are still in the process of getting vaccinated, including 207 who are below 18 years of age.

The first vaccination exercise was held in Kuching on 28 June 2021 involving 154 athletes, coaches and sports officials, while the second was held in Sibu on 7 July involving 35 athletes.

The third phase of the vaccinations in Miri involved 49 athletes and coaches who are from various sports including rugby, squash, archery, athletics, hockey, sailing, wushu, football, sepak takraw, eSports, silat, beach volleyball, volleyball and badminton.

In total, there are 135 athletes and coaches from Miri who are part of the vaccination exercise but 54 of them had already received their first jabs based on their MySejahtera appointments while the rest are under 18 years old.

Presently, Sarawak is the only state to undertake an initiative to provide vaccinations for its athletes, coaches and sports officials. It is also part of Sarawak’s strategy and plans to ensure that its athletes are well protected from COVID-19 and that their training and preparations are on schedule.

The Curtin Malaysia Vaccination Centre, officially designated the PPV Curtin University REC Hall, has seen thousands of people in Miri getting vaccinated since it started operations on 20 June 2021.

Located in Curtin Malaysia’s multipurpose Recreation and Event Centre, it replaced a smaller vaccination centre in Permyjaya which was getting too congested. With ample floor space of over 1,500 sq.m., the Curtin Malaysia venue is more than adequate to accommodate the over 2,000 vaccinees a day. It also meets all the requirements of the Ministry of Health and COVID-19 Immunisation Taskforce (CITF) Sarawak.

Curtin Malaysia’s Pro Vice-Chancellor, President and Chief Executive, Professor Simon Leunig, said Curtin University is proud to be part of Sarawak’s immunisation programme, which the state authorities aim to complete by the end of August with a targeted 50,000 or more doses administered daily across the state.

“We are happy to be an active and strong member of the Miri community and we are more than pleased that not only our facilities are being used for the vaccination centre, but also a good number of our staff and students who have volunteered to help in the administration of the vaccination centre, as well as provide technical and logistical support,” he said.

“In line with the state government’s aims, we are also actively encouraging all our students, as well as our staff and their family members, to get vaccinated without further delay,” Professor Leunig added.

Datuk Abdul Karim (centre) on arrival at the vaccination centre.

The Miri athletes waiting to be vaccinated.

Datuk Abdul Karim speaking to the athletes.

Datuk Abdul Karim and Datuk Lee touring the vaccination centre.

Datuk Abdul Karim and Datuk Lee talking to some of those waiting to be vaccinated.

Datuk Abdul Karim, flanked by Datuk Lee and Datuk Ting, addressing the media during the press conference.

Ir Pieter Pottas (left) briefing the VIP visitors on operations of the vaccination centre.

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