‘Brace for second, bigger Covid-19 wave if SOPs not followed’

Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian

KUCHING, May 17: Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian is warning Sarawakians to be prepared for a second, possibly bigger, wave of Covid-19 infections if business sectors do not adhere to government standard operating procedures (SOPs).

“Understanding the number one principle which is social distancing: we can enjoy our life a bit and at the same time make money but with strict understanding and following the new norm. We cannot operate businesses like what we used to in the past.

“I don’t dare to predict the next seven to 14 days with the easing of (restrictions on) business sectors if people don’t follow SOP and understand social distancing. Some people are truly ignorant while others are intentionally (sic) confused with fake news,” Dr Sim said via a Facebook post today.

Using the hashtag #BeResponsible #Covidiot, he pointed out that minimising large gatherings is key to stopping the spread of Covid-19.

“That is why we implemented the movement control order (MCO) and why schools are not allowed to reopen; no Raya Aidilfitri or Gawai Dayak festival open house and even mosques, churches or temples are not back to usual,” Dr Sim highlighted.

He added that measures such as recording names and telephone numbers of people visiting business premises through the COVIDTrace app is only for contact tracing after a person have been exposed to someone who has been infected with Covid-19.

Although there are conditional movement control order (CMCO) multi-discipline enforcement teams led by the police, he urged everyone to play their part, be responsible and cooperate for their personal safety as well as safety of their family, and the whole community.

By doing so, it would help prevent the second wave of Covid-19 as seen in other countries.

“None of us want to go back to MCO1, MCO2, MCO3. Surely no Sarawakian would want to face a second wave as seen in Singapore or Germany,” he stressed.

Dr Sim also expressed relief that the state’s Covid-19 cases were declining, with zero cases recorded for four consecutive days as revealed by the Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) earlier today.

Thanking Sarawakians, Dr Sim added this was made possible because of everyone’s effort, cooperation, sacrifices and solidarity in the last 14 days.

Meanwhile, he also disclosed that more than 1,000 tests are done everyday including 3T (Tracing, Testing, Treating) in the state.

“The capacity to test, number of test orders and ‘done’ (completed orders) are different. About 1,000 tests were done yesterday by Sarawak General Hospital, Sibu Hospital and Miri Hospital, while about 1,500 tests were done on May 14 by them as well.

“With the new PCR (testing capabilities) for Bintulu Hospital, Sibu Hospital, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) and Pusat Jantung Sarawak (Sarawak Heart Centre), Sarawak should have the capacity to test beyond 3,500 per day,” Sim revealed, adding that this is part of Sarawak’s preparation for a second and possibly bigger wave. — DayakDaily