Checks on offices in Sibu following spike in Covid-19 cases

THE integrated Covid-19 standard operating procedure (SOP) monitoring team led by police is now actively checking offices in Sibu as workplaces contributed 47% to the 1,535 cases in the last two weeks.

On April 23, the team issued compounds worth RM1,500 to five people — three from a government office and the other two from a bank — for not wearing a face mask while at work.

Dr Annuar Rapa’ee.Dr Annuar Rapa’ee.

Sibu Division Disaster Management Committee coordinator Dr Annuar Rapa’ee in his Covid-19 update via Facebook Live said that 74 cases were detected from April 9 to 23.

The 74 cases subsequently infected a total of 646 persons, mostly family members.

“We need to take tough action as we want employers to be serious about this as we have found that the workplace is a source of infection, ” he said.

He also urged employers to get their staff to follow the standard operating procedure.

“If they don’t and their employees contract the virus at the workplace, they could end up infecting their family members, ” he added.

The five workplace clusters are Disa with 92 cases, Ding Lik Kong (27), Bulatan Aman (270), Jalan Maju (84) and Sanyang (177).

Dr Annuar said due to the workplace clusters, the committee had to impose the enhanced movement control order on Sibu, which meant companies under the essential services sector could only operate at 50% of their workforce.

On the current Covid-19 situation, Dr Annuar said there had been a spike as people were complacent when cases dropped from Week 8 to 13.

“It shot up from 253 cases in Week 13 to 702 in Week 16 (April 18 to 24) as a result and it had spread to the whole town instead of just certain areas, ” he said.

All cases were from local transmission as inter-district travel was still prohibited except with a police permit.

“To make Sibu (currently a red zone) a green zone is not realistic (in the near term) but we need vaccination and tighter SOP to minimise cases, ” he added.

Dr Annuar also announced that the enhanced MCO for Sibu, which was initially from April 22 to 26, had been extended to May 10.

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