Take extra precautions during CNY season in wake of Omicron variant, says Sarawak DCM

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian (left) and Kuching South mayor Datuk Wee Hong Seng (centre) lighting up the White Cat statue at Padungan in Kuching for Chinese New Year. —ZULAZHAR SHEBLEE/The Star

KUCHING: Sarawakians returning for Chinese New Year have been urged to be cautious in light of the Omicron Covid-19 variant.

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian said many people were expected to travel back to the state from Peninsular Malaysia and overseas for the coming festive season.

"I urge everyone to take extra precautions. Make sure you do not bring Omicron back to Sarawak and to your immediate family.

"Please look after your family, especially elderly parents," he said at the lighting up of the White Cat statue at Padungan here on Monday (Jan 24) night.

Dr Sim said it was important for everyone to stay safe during the festive celebration and prevent an Omicron surge.

He said Sarawak's daily Covid-19 numbers had been low in recent weeks due to public compliance with the standard operating procedures (SOP), as well as self-testing.

"Self-testing is part of living with the virus. We hope our numbers will remain low because of SOP compliance and awareness," he added.

On the festive decorations, Dr Sim said it was the Kuching South City Council's annual tradition to light up the areas under its jurisdiction during every festival.

"We want to create a festive atmosphere for the people to enjoy. We still have to be careful due to Covid-19 but it doesn't mean we cannot create the atmosphere," he said.

Kuching South mayor Datuk Wee Hong Seng said decorative lights were put up at the Stutong, Petanak and Kenyalang Park markets, besides the White Cat statue.

"This is our routine for the festive season. At the moment there are still restrictions because of the pandemic, but we try to create the ambience even though we cannot have large-scale celebrations," he said.

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