Coronavirus baby boom? Sarawak govt welcomes one

Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah

Follow and subscribe to DayakDaily on Telegram for faster news updates.

By Lian Cheng

KUCHING, April 6: The state government has welcomed any potential baby boom amid the Covid-19 outbreak should there be one next year.

Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Minister, Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah said a baby boom nine months after the movement control order (MCO) would be good for Sarawak as a whole.

“We wait and see. We have been talking about this. People are not allowed to go out at night due to MCO and there has been speculation that there will be a baby boom nine months later.

“However, we can only confirm this after nine months. There is a high possibility, which is good for Sarawak, as we need the critical mass for Sarawak to develop,” she told DayakDaily.

The Dalat assemblywoman said at the moment, Endowment Fund Sarawak (EFS) is already in place and the state government is ready for any baby boom next year.

EFS was Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg’s initiative where any newborn in Sarawak will entitle to RM1,000, which cannot be withdrawn until the benefactor is 18 years old.

On cases of domestic violence during MCO, Fatimah said the two government hotlines, the Women’s Department and Welfare Department, have yet to receive any call with regards to domestic violence.

“We made a comparison between this year and previous years. For the same period of time before MCO, there was an increase. However, during MCO, there was no calls from the two helplines.

“We are not sure whether there was no domestic violence since MCO or there are other reasons that the calls were not made.

“There are many questions we can’t answer right now. We can’t come to any conclusion as we have no facts to back it up,” she explained. — DayakDaily