KOTA KINABALU: When the case of a clinic in Terengganu selling fake Covid-19 vaccination certificates was first highlighted in the media, we had expressed our concern that it could be the tip of the iceberg.
And now it has been discovered that this pernicious practice has also been going on in four more states—Selangor, Johor, Kedah and Kelantan.
The iceberg that hit the Titanic in 1912 caused the deaths of 1,500 people but the fake Covid-19 vaccination has put many more lives at risk of contracting the virus or spreading it.
While the police must be commended for unraveling more cases of unforgivable deceit, it is hoped that they will step up investigations to unearth more possible cases and bring the culprits to book without delay.
It is important for the police to act quickly because much more than public confidence in the Covid-19 vaccination process is at stake. Their health also may be in jeopardy.
It is reassuring to know that ProtectHealth has vowed to take swift action against private medical practitioners (PMPs) and healthcare NGOs for any breach of procedures or ethics in the wake of fake vaccinations.
This sad episode also throws a related issue into sharp focus. This concerns the official statistics on the number of adults in the country who have been fully vaccinated.
According to the official Covid-19 Tracker, as of this week, a total of 97.9 adults and 88.2 percent of adolescents have already had two doses of the vaccines.
But the question is this: Were the fake figures from the recalcitrant clinics incorporated into these figures? If so, the figures would not be a true reflection of the state of vaccination and of the resulting state of the nation’s health.
Previously, we had fake vaccinations, then fake vaccination certificates, and now fake statistics?
When the cases of fake jabs first appeared many months ago, we had called for a thorough investigation but sadly this was not done.
This is not a zero-sum game. There are no winners. Only losers.
So, restoring public confidence in the Covid-19 vaccination process is important.
Like booster jabs, public confidence also needs to be given a boost. This can be done if the authorities leave no stone unturned in getting to the bottom of this sad state of affairs and take all the remedial measures.
Otherwise, the good work that the Ministry of Health has been doing these last two years with regard to stemming the spread of Covid-19 would be in jeopardy.
It is therefore hoped that the public will also come forward with information about other cases of clinics offering fake certificates.
By doing so, they can be assured of protection under the Whistleblowers Protection Act.
TAN SRI LEE LAM THYE,
Alliance for Safe Community.