IT IS still difficult for Bintulu to achieve zero Covid-19 cases when its residents are not complying with the standard operating procedure, says a Sarawak lawmaker.
Bintulu MP Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing said although the confirmed cases in Bintulu division were in the one or two-digit range for several days, it was difficult to achieve the goal of zero cases.
“I found some food premises were not overly concerned about viral transmissions and did not practise strict SOPs,” he said in a statement after his recent visits to several eateries.
He was frustrated that a handful in the community were not acting responsibly in preventing the spread of the pandemic.
Tiong said Bintulu was in Phase Two of the National Recovery Plan with almost the entire economic sector reopening.
He added that all parties should appreciate the results of the authorities’ efforts and continue to adhere to the SOP.
The Disaster Management Committee, he said, had stipulated that operators and employees of premises must be vaccinated.
The owners must bear the costs of follow-up disinfections and screening tests if any of their employees or managers are diagnosed positive.
“I understand the economic burden on the people, so I don’t want to see anyone having to bear those costs.
“So please be responsible and practise strict SOPs while conducting your business,” he urged.
Tiong said a complacent attitude would worsen the pandemic.
“Based on recent statistics, the Dayak Iban recorded 90% of confirmed cases in Bintulu.
“Therefore, I urge all community partners involved to be proactive in preventing the spread of the virus and to minimise movement,” he said.
He advised those working or living in urban areas not to return to the longhouse to reduce movement.
Though the infection rate among the Chinese and Malays was not high, everyone needed to be proactive and vigilant in prevention efforts, added Tiong.