Bintulu MP: Cramped rented rooms in shoplots a hotbed of Covid-19 transmission


SIBU: Crowded rooms in shoplots illegally rented out to tenants have become a new hotbed of Covid-19 infections in Bintulu, with eight new cases recorded in such locations on Thursday (June 17).

In a statement on Friday (June 18), Bintulu MP Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing (pic) urged the local council to take immediate action and shut down these "bilik sewa" to curb further infections.

Tiong said the owners of such premises should cooperate with the Bintulu Development Authority in breaking the chain of transmission.

"They must bear their share of the responsibility to prevent cases among their tenants.

"They must be proactive in ensuring that their tenants comply with standard operating procedures and maintain a healthy standard of sanitation," he said.

The owners would also have to strictly control the movement of people in and out of the premises, stop accepting new tenants for now, and not let residents' relatives and friends stay over, he added.

"With so many people living in a single unit, it is already difficult to maintain physical distancing. It gets worse when owners have to identify who among the newcomers are carriers of Covid-19. Once there is an outbreak, it can get very bad very quickly," he pointed out.

Tiong said the immediate action needed is enforcement to control these such premises.

At the same time, he said the authorities will closely monitor housing areas where there have been confirmed outbreaks.

Once a housing area is identified as high risk, he urged the authorities to quickly place the area under the enhanced movement control order and conduct mass testing.

"Everyone is at risk and the authorities must treat all affected areas equally. If the enhanced MCO is needed to contain a cluster, it is for the life and health of the whole community," he said.

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