S’wakians urged to stay vigilant as only state not under MCO

Safety comes first: Shoppers wearing face masks and complying with other SOPs at India Street in Kuching. — ZULAZHAR SHEBLEE/The Star

KUCHING: Public officials in Sarawak are warning against complacency as the state remains the only one in Malaysia not placed under a movement control order.

State Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian, who oversees public health, said the only way to prevent stricter movement restrictions in Sarawak was for everyone, from government agencies and policymakers to businesses and local communities, to play their part and go the extra mile in the battle against Covid-19.

“Sarawak is the last one standing, but for how long? Let’s sacrifice and suffer together now in solidarity to fight Covid-19.

“Otherwise, we will be like Sabah in terms of cases and deaths, ” he said, adding that Sarawak’s fate was in the hands of Sarawakians.

Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced on Tuesday that six more states in Peninsular Malaysia would be placed under the MCO from Jan 22 to Feb 4.

With the MCO already enforced earlier in the other peninsula states and Sabah, Sarawak is the only state to remain under the conditional MCO for now.

However, Sibu division in Sarawak is under MCO from Jan 16 to 29 after a spike in cases from the Pasai cluster which stemmed from a funeral at a longhouse in Pasai Siong on Dec 29 to 31.

State health director Dr Chin Zin Hing called on the public to adhere to standard operating procedures.

“Practise the 3Cs and 3Ws, ” he said, referring to the Health Ministry’s guidelines to avoid crowded places, confined spaces and close conversations and to frequently wash hands, wear face masks and warn one another to practise caution.

The Associated Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sarawak (ACCCIS) reminded businesses to be vigilant by strictly complying with SOPs in order to keep the pandemic under control.

“For those businesses which hire foreign workers, they must make sure that their workers have done the requisite swab tests and that the SOPs for their hostels or quarters are fully complied with, ” ACCCIS secretary-general Jonathan Chai said.

He noted that the situation in Sarawak was better than the rest of the country because the state government had channelled a sizable budget towards fighting Covid-19.

“Relatively speaking, the state disaster management committee has also been doing a reasonably good job. Frontliners like doctors, medical personnel and uniformed staff deserve the credit too.

“Having said that, we should not take things for granted. Most importantly, we should learn from the recent experience of clusters in certain parts of the state because of the lackadaisical attitude of some individuals, ” he said, adding that there was no room for complacency.

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movement control order , Sarawak , MCO , covid-19


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