SIBU.Jan 7: The State Government has been urged to further tighten the SOPs, as there will be an increase in the movement of people due to the forthcoming Chinese New Year celebration.
The appeal was made today by four Chinese based associations namely Sibu Division Chinese Community Leaders Association, United Chinese Association (UCA), Sibu, Federation of Seven Clans
Association and Sibu Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCCI).
The four associations also wanted the government to make a restriction on social gathering and enforce the 14-day quarantine at Covid-19 quarantine and low-risk treatment centres so as to better contain the pandemic in the state.
Speaking at a press conference, chairman of Sibu Division Chinese Community Leaders Association, Temenggong Vincent Lau said the spike in Covid-19 infections nationwide can be attributed to a decreasing rate of compliance with SOPs, and an increasing number of people leaving their homes for non-essential travel and social gatherings during Christmas and NewYear 2021.
He said a similar spike would occur as Chinese New Year loom if tougher measures are not taken.
“The 14-day quarantine should apply to all, including political leaders and VVIPs who are entering the state. It is hoped that our political leaders will set a good example and take the initiative to fully comply with the
SOPs and self-quarantine if they return to Sarawak from the Covid-19 red zones,” he said.
In addition, he said more Covid-19 quarantine and low-risk treatment centres, need to be set up within the state to accommodate such a number of people entering Sarawak.
“We hope the State Government would look into this and provide necessary facilities to curb the spread of Covid-19 in the state,” he said.
On the forthcoming Chinese Year celebration (Feb 12), advised those working or studying abroad or are outside the town to remain where they are and not come home for the celebration due to the spike in Covid-19 cases.
“This is the best measure to prevent the spread of the virus and to protect their families and friends,” he said.
Lau also advised that Chinese New Year visiting and social gatherings be restricted so as to ensure the safety of everyone during this pandemic.
Instead, he urged the community to stay at home during the celebration. and to stay connected with families and friends through phone calls, internet and social media networking.
“Likewise, activities involving public gathering organised by associations during the CNY should also be replaced with online activities,” he added.
Lau said this as many people are eager and planning to return from overseas to reunite with their families during Chinese New Year while Inter-state travels and inter-district travels are expected to increase too.
The tradition of visiting and reunion gatherings by the Chinese association, he said will inevitably increase the rate of infection.
As for those preparing for the CNY, he urged them to follow strictly the standard operating procedures (SOP) to prevent Covid-19 such as wearing face masks, maintaining social distancing, scanning the
Sejahtera application code before entering any premises while performing their duties.
Present at the press conference was the chairman of SCCCI, Datuk Lau Cheng Kiong and chairman of UCA, Sibu, Ngieng Ping Sing. -DayakDaily