KUCHING, Feb 6: Bintulu MP Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing calls for cooperation from business operators with confirmed Covid-19 cases to suspend their operation and conduct sanitisation on their premises in order to curb more infections.
According to Tiong, in a press statement today, it is imperative that the Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) and the Health Department do not allow businesses with positive cases among their employees to continue operating during the Chinese New Year festive season for fear of heightened exposure to the coronavirus.
“To delay closing businesses and stores with employees positive with Cpvid-19 is to allow for easier transmission of the pandemic. If these SOPs are relaxed, it could undermine all the hard work done to contain the pandemic in recent days,” he said.
Tiong noted it is understandable for business owners to want to take advantage of the active festive to garner as much profit as possible, especially after such a long period of economic uncertainty.
However, he said, it must also be balanced with the authorities’ need to protect the public health, particularly when cases among employees begin to emerge.
“I hope everyone will be considerate of this approach and play their part. It is important for all businesses and their employees to cooperate in containing the coronavirus.
“When health officers come for contact tracing on the number of confirmed patients and their close contacts, those involved must truthfully provide the relevant information, such as number of employees and working hours, for proper quarantine and testing to be done,” he added.
On the same note, Tiong emphasised that businesses with confirmed cases must also temporarily stop business and reopen after the Health Department has verified that the risk of infection has reached a safe level.
He reminded that businesses found to have intentionally concealed or withheld pertinent information relevant to the investigations might face legal action.
Tiong pointed out that this is particularly crucial in the area of contact tracing by the medical personnel, because by wrongly given information or misinformation could potentially lead to a breakdown in the entire pandemic containment operation.
He explained if close contacts are not identified and isolated, this could allow potential carriers to infect even more people as they travel.
“Whole clusters could form and it would make it much more difficult to contain.
“Therefore, I hope that businesses would take it upon themselves to prioritise health over profits, as the pandemic has claimed more than 800 lives in Malaysia.
“If our family members and friends are being sacrificed for a bit more profits, what is the use of the extra money?,” he said. — DayakDaily