Reaching a significant mile stone to ensure worker safety, The Planters’ Association of Ceylon (PA) and the Plantation Human Development Trust (PHDT) announced that nearly 100% of RPC estate workers have been fully vaccinated against COVID 19. Furthermore progress has been achieved to fully inoculate over 95% of the targeted estate community across 7 regions as at 29th October 2021, noted PA.
According to recent data by PHDT, efforts are underway to assist the government to vaccinate the most recent age group of 20-29 years old, for which over 75% have been administered the 1st dose thus far. Working in close partnership with the Ministry of Health (MOH), Provincial Health Authorities & PHDT, Regional Plantation Companies (RPCs) have been able to fast track the rate of vaccinations for its estate workers and their families.
“We are thankful to the Government and relevant authorities in being able to conduct the vaccine drive in an efficient manner. Within our RPCs alone, over 95% of the targeted estate community has received their first jab. It is also noteworthy to mention that we have been able to vaccinate all pregnant mothers residing in RPC estates across Kegalle and Hatton,” noted PA media spokesperson, Dr. Roshan Rajadurai.
Most recent date obtained by PHDT revealed that over 97% of the overall estate population within the age category of 30-59 years old have received their 1st dose while over 93% have received the second dose of the vaccine across all seven regions.
“With one of the largest estate community residing in Hatton we are pleased to announce that we have almost achieved a 100% vaccination rate above the age of 30 years old. This is a great achievement as it is our mission to ensure that everyone is safeguarded and the spread of the virus is mitigated. We are on track to ensure that those residing in the estate community are fully vaccinated before the end of year, as our next step is ensure that those between 20-29 years old get both jabs as soon as possible,” PHDT stated.
Alongside the vaccine drive, ongoing initiatives such as COVID 19 awareness and training programmes are being conducted by PHDT involving regional staff, MOH and estate health workers. This to educate the community on proper sanitizing methods, social distancing and what measures to adopt in case an individual is COVID positive. So far 98 such programmes have been carried out in the 1st and 2nd quarter of 2021 with more planned till the end of the year.
“The contribution of our estate workers and the community to keep the industry running cannot be forgotten and their safety is our priority. The vaccination drive is held under three phases with priority being given to frontline workers, secondly the factory workers inclusive of community leaders & thirdly, the staff and the wider community. The third phase of the campaign will expand vaccinations to all remaining age groups and unvaccinated individuals. While the vaccine drive is taking place in full swing we must not get complacent. We must continue to strengthen safety protocols, and may require booster shots for our workers given it is an essential service,” Dr. Rajadurai noted.