ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka aims to inoculate at least 50 per cent of the apparel sector workers with the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine by mid-July, currently 30 per cent of the workforce have been jabbed with the first dose, Joint Apparel Association Forum (JAAF) said.
JAAF said that the vaccination coverage increased from 5 per cent to 30 per cent in the last few weeks.
“Continuing at the same pace, we expect more than half of the workforce to have received their first jab within the next two weeks, and approximately 80 per cent by August,” Tuli Cooray, Secretary General JAAF said.
According to JAAF, 30 per cent of apparel sector workers were vaccinated with first dose by the end of June 2021, out of a total of 300,000 in the sector.
It also aims to vaccinate the entire workforce before the end of 2021.
“If all goes to plan, by December, we should have nearly our entire workforce vaccinated, and safely back to work,” Cooray said.
“This is very positive news for workers, their families and the communities they have helped to build up, as well as the industry and national economy as a whole.”
He said before this, only 5 per cent of the apparel sector workers had been vaccinated for COVID-19.
However, in the last few weeks, the authorities have been able to partially vaccinate approximately one-third of the entire apparel workforce, Cooray said.
“The government has issued protocols that manufacturing companies and other industries must follow to ensure an infection-free and pandemic-compliant environment,” Cooray said.
The next stage of vaccination the industry targets is to vaccinate the workers’ families and the communities they live in.
Sri Lanka’s apparel sector is one of the dollar earners of the country and provides direct employment to about 300,000 Sri Lankans. (Colombo/Jul03/2021)