SIBU: Residents in the urban area here now face a very high risk of contracting Covid-19, says Dr Annuar Rapaee.
The district Divisional Disaster Management Committee coordinator said this can be seen in daily data showing that areas covered by the Sibu Municipal Council (SMC) are recording an increase in cases.
Of the 95 cases in the Sibu district on Saturday (April 17), 65 of them were reported in the SMC area. Another 13 were recorded in Sibu Jaya and 17 more were recorded in the Sibu Rural District Council (SRDC) area, ” said Dr Annuar.
He added in a Facebook live-stream on Saturday that the total number of cases in the SMC area on Friday (April 16) was 57.
The Assistant Housing and Local Government Minister said the outbreak started in the Pasai Cluster, which involved longhouses in Pasai Siong from Jan 8 of this year.
"When we locked down the longhouses there, there was a downtrend in the number of cases reported there five or six weeks later. However, the Sibu Jaya cluster was detected seven weeks later and a lockdown was imposed there, and cases began to decrease six weeks after that, ” he said.
Dr Annuar said that while it was hoped that the number of cases would be reduced following that, it has since gone up from 392 to 632.
“The bulk of these cases are in the urban area. This shows that the virus is now concentrating in these areas," he said.
On Wednesday (April 14), the committee imposed special movement restrictions from April 16 to 26 on seven of the 34 Covid-19 zones where the two clusters were located.
"We cannot impose a lockdown on the seven zones as they cover a very wide area as compared to Sibu Jaya. So we imposed stricter SOP," he said.
The seven zones are Sukun/Lada, Mantis, Poh Yew, Bukit Lima, Tong Sang, the Sibu town centre and Tiong Hua.
Under the restrictions, the number of people in a car will be limited to three at any one time.
Additionally, sporting and recreational activities will not be allowed, while religious activities are subject to standard operating procedures issued by the state religious authority and the Unit for Other Religions.
Along with this, food outlets such as coffee shops, cafes and restaurants are only allowed to operate a takeaway service as dine-in is prohibited.
Aside from this, the central market will be closed and all essential services will be allowed to operate from 6am to 8pm with 50% of its employees after getting approval from the police, while all other sectors will not be allowed to operate.
Massage centres, spas, pubs, entertainment and karaoke centres and reflexology centres will not be allowed to operate.