Those who jump the COVID-19 vaccine queue can be fined a maximum of RM50,000, or jailed for not more than six months, or both.
Health Minister Dr Adham Baba said that the punishment is stipulated under Section 31 of the Emergency (Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases) (Amendment) Ordinance 2021, which comes into effect on March 11.
"Regulations made under this new subsection may prescribe any act which contravenes the regulations to be an offence and shall be liable to a fine not exceeding RM50,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months, or both," Bernama quoted the minister telling a press conference yesterday.
Adham, however, said that to date, his ministry has yet to receive any report of queue jumping for the COVID-19 vaccines.
Social media has been abuzz with claims that high ranking civil servants and their kin, as well as certain VVIPs, were trying to jump queue to get their COVID-19 jabs first, at a period where the inocculation is reserved for frontliners.
The country's vaccination programme will take part in three phases - beginning with medical and non-medical frontliners receiving their jabs from February to April. The second phase from April until August will cover senior citizens aged over 65 years old and other high-risk groups while the final phase, from May until February next year, is targeted at the general adult population aged 18 and above.
Earlier this week, Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said that Putrajaya has established "Guidelines to Determine List of Frontliners" to avoid queue jumping in the programme.
According to Khairy, who is also the coordinating minister for the National COVID-19 Immunisation Programme, the guidelines can be viewed at https://www.vaksincovid.gov.my/, as well as the websites of his ministry and the Health Ministry.
As of yesterday, there have been a total of 305,880 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country, with 1,148 deaths.
The global coronavirus infection and death tally, meanwhile, has surpassed 115 million, and 2.57 million, respectively.
Photo source: Astro Awani
Thu Mar 04 2021
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