Friday, October 22, 2021

Man behind SELangkah claims AstraZeneca bookings ‘had consent’

Dr Helmi Zakariah says the registration exercise was done to help 'digitally-gapped people' register for vaccination appointments.

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The person behind Selangor’s SELangkah contact tracing app is now claiming that those for whom the AstaZeneca vaccination appointments were secured had given their consent, in response to a finding by Putrajaya’s Covid-19 Immunisation Task Force (CITF) today.

Dr Helmi Zakariah, who is responsible for the development of the SELangkah app, which was previously reported to have been criticised over privacy issues and bugs, said the claim by CITF was “inaccurate”.

He said the registration exercise was done to help “digitally-gapped people [sic]” who rely on SELangkah to book their Covid-19 vaccination appointments.

“This is the cohort of people in Imunisel, which gave consent for various vaccination,” he said, referring to Selangor’s campaign to promote the vaccine registration rate in the state among those without digital literacy.

“The name was requested to us from CITF. We sent that, with disclaimers,” he added.

The CITF earlier said that SELangkah, the contact tracing app promoted by the Selangor state government, was among those which had made large numbers of bookings for the AstraZeneca vaccine earlier this week.

It also said SELangkah had admitted to making the bookings without consent.

Khairy Jamaluddin, the minister in charge of the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme, said yesterday that the government was investigating the possibility that mass registrations were carried out during the booking for the AstraZeneca jab.

This followed claims by some who said they had received notifications of appointments despite not registering while others said they had not despite successfully booking a slot.

Meanwhile, SELangkah CEO Tengku Iesta Tengku Alaudin denied any involvement in the booking of AstraZeneca slots.

In a statement, he also denied that the CITF had reached out to SELangkah about the matter.

“SELangkah strongly denies the accusations and claims which have no basis whatsoever.

“SELangkah will not hesitate to take legal action against any party that makes false accusations to tarnish our reputation,” he said.

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