GEORGE TOWN: The Penang government has allocated around RM3 million for mass Covid-19 screening in targeted community groups involving 40 state constituencies.

State Housing, Local Government and Town and Country Planning Committee chairman Jagdeep Singh Deo today said that the decision was made during the state executive council meeting yesterday.

“The mass screening would be in line with the on-site pooled saliva RT-PCR screening initiative, which is a joint effort between the state and the Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) Penang to conduct mass screening in the manufacturing sector,” he told a press conference before conducting Covid-19 prevention standard operating procedures (SOP) checks at the Kuantan Road market here.

He added that the mass screening would be beneficial in the preparation for the next batch of vaccines, which is expected to arrive in Malaysia by next month.

Meanwhile, for the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme, Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow in a statement said that the state is looking at the need to set up a mega-sized vaccination centre to ensure the vaccination programme can be speeded up.

He said the state is working with the Health department to increase the rate of vaccination to 22,000 individuals a week in June.

“We want a mega-sized vaccination centre to accelerate the vaccination programme, including towards ‘economic frontliners’ serving in the manufacturing and industrial sectors as well as those currently in red zone districts,“ he said.

However, Chow said the state government also wanted to purchase vaccine supply for the benefit of the people in Penang.

“Logistics planning, a registration system that can integrate data from MySejahtera, the establishment of additional registered medical teams, vaccination centres and other related matters are being studied to enable the programme to run smoothly in the near future,“ he said. — Bernama