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Abdul Karim (fifth, left) and Hii (fourth, left) join the representatives of Sarawak’s various tourism bodies in a group photo after the press conference. ― Borneo Post pic
Abdul Karim (fifth, left) and Hii (fourth, left) join the representatives of Sarawak’s various tourism bodies in a group photo after the press conference. ― Borneo Post pic

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KUCHING, July 17 ― The Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture Sarawak is confident that the tourism industry in the state would open up in the fourth quarter of this year.

Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said this would be in line with Sarawak’s expected entry into Phase 3 of the National Recovery Plan by the end of August.

“We are now in Phase 2 of the NRD and our vaccination programme has been going on very smoothly.

“By end of this month or mid-August, we should attain the targeted herd immunity of 80 per cent (of the people in Sarawak having received full vaccination).

“Currently, 71.4 per cent of the adult population in the state have received their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, while about 31 per cent have completed both doses,” he told reporters after visiting the ‘Tourism Industrial Vaccination Programme’ at the Christian Ecumenical Worship Centre at Jalan Stampin here yesterday.

The programme, which kicked off on Thursday, is expected to administer dose-two of the vaccine on 2,100 tourism industry players by its last day tomorrow.

“We hope to get the tourism and business-events (BE) sectors going by the fourth quarter of this year.

“Tourism is one of the industries that is very much affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“With this vaccination programme being done, hopefully the tourism industry could jump-start faster,” added Abdul Karim.

Sarawak is touted as being the first state in Malaysia to complete the industrial vaccination programme for tourism and BE partners, led by Abdul Karim’s ministry in collaboration with the federal Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Sarawak Tourism Board (STB), Sarawak Business Events Association, Ministry of Health and Timberland Medical Centre.

On inter-state travel restrictions, the minister regarded them as being ‘only temporary’.

“The restrictions would be relaxed once we reach the 80 per cent vaccination of our people,” he added.

Accompanying Abdul Karim to the centre was the permanent secretary to the ministry, Hii Chang Kee. ― Borneo Post

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