With multiple COVID-19 vaccines authorised for use across the globe and mass immunisation programs scaling up, optimism is certainly increasing for a potential transition to normalcy over the next several months.
Even so, the past few weeks have seen new Covid-19 cases reported in workplaces across Malaysia, either in factories or in workers’ accommodations. This worrying situation has resulted in the implementation of Malaysia’s novel Public-Private Partnership Industrial Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (PIKAS), as a means to support the nation’s own ongoing National Immunisation Program.
PIKAS actually kicked off in June in response to calls from industry associations, business chambers of commerce and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to help the government hasten immunisation of employees in various business sectors, with on-site vaccination at designated factories and industrial locations.
It is expected to play an important role in the implementation and fast-tracking of the National Recovery Plan, set up to boost post-pandemic economic recovery. And among the most visible Malaysian companies offering independent COVID-19 vaccinations to employees across all its branches nationwide are the local stalwarts of the Mercedes-Benz marquee, Cycle & Carriage Bintang Berhad.
This long-time Malaysian distributor of automobiles bearing the three-pointed star emblem has been doing this since the third week of July this year, as the key part of its commitment in protecting the health, safety and well-being of its employees, customers, and communities that it serves. “We are proud to play a part in ensuring the safety of our workplaces and our employees with this COVID-19 vaccination drive,” reveals CEO of Cycle & Carriage, Wilfrid Foo.
“As responsible members of the community, Cycle & Carriage believes that we have a part to play in taking on some of the pandemic’s most significant battles. From the outset of the pandemic, we have worked hard to put the health and safety of our employees and customers first. The quicker we achieve high vaccination rates, the sooner our communities and economies can start to rebuild,” continues Foo.
Cycle & Carriage, with an extensive network of some 11 Mercedes-Benz Autohauses across key economic centres in Peninsula Malaysia, has over 800 employees. All costs of vaccination have been borne by the company and employees who have opted for the company’s vaccination drive have started receiving their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine thus far.
The company is the first company in the Malaysian automotive industry to commit to a self-vaccination programme en masse, and Foo goes on to say that the company’s goal is to vaccinate as many of its employees as possible, from management to service personnel and technicians, to better serve its customers and the surrounding community in a safe environment.
Let’s see if this actually starts a positive trend within the Malaysian automotive industry that’s been so badly affected by the ongoing pandemic!