COVID-19 vaccine helps life return to normal – M’sians abroad

KUALA LUMPUR – Life has returned to normal for people in some countries after more and more people have been vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus.

This is among the latest situation shared by some Malaysians living abroad, when the strict movement restrictions imposed previously, were relaxed after the outbreak in their respective areas became under control.

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A Malaysian who is an imam at the Hobart Mosque in Tasmania, Australia, Sabri Samson said since May, the people in the country especially the Muslims have returned to their normal lives including being allowed to perform congregational prayers without physical distancing and capacity limits at mosques and surau.

He said the people in Australia, including the Malaysian community, generally did not reject the vaccinations, which allows them to go about their daily routines without restrictions.

“The community here really wanted the vaccine and believe that it could help prevent serious COVID-19 infection. However, we still practice wearing face masks where it is needed,” he said during a virtual panel discussion entitled ‘Antara Keperluan dan Khilaf COVID-19’ aired on Bernama TV tonight.

The programme was moderated by Bernama chairman Datuk Ras Adiba Radzi. Other panellists are Shireen Abdullah in San Diego, California and Haliza Hashim in London, United Kingdom (UK), as well as the strategic planning exco for Medical Mythbuster Malaysia’s vaccination campaign, Dr Megat Mohamad Amirul Amzar Megat Hashim, who appeared in the studio.

According to Haliza, the desire to enjoy freedom outside was the motivating factor for more people in the UK to get vaccinated against COVID-19, with a total of 30 million people have received both doses of the vaccine so far.

She said getting vaccinated was considered as the only way to enjoy daily activities like before, such as dining in restaurants, watching football matches, attending concerts and theatres and going for holidays.

In fact, the UK government also played the role by opening up vaccination centres in community areas to ensure more people receive their vaccine to achieve herd immunity.

“Various campaigns involving celebrities and religious figures were held to encourage vaccination including by opening up vaccination centres near mosques, churches, Chinatown, as well as not marginalising migrant workers,” she added.

Sharing her experience in San Diego, Shireen said the people are no longer required to wear face masks when outside due to the improving COVID-19 situation and almost 50 per cent of the population in the area have been vaccinated.

Shireen, who had been fully vaccinated, said she felt more comfortable and safe going out now, but still chose to wear face masks as an additional preventive measure.