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By Nancy Nais
KOTA SAMARAHAN, Jan 20: Sarawak has lost 1,620 lives due to Covid-19 and hence, everyone must remain vigilant despite the improved situation, urges Deputy Chief Minister Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hia.
In making the call, Dr Sim pleaded with the public to celebrate the coming Chinese New Year (CNY) festival responsibly.
Although the Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) has agreed to review the CNY standard operating procedures (SOPs) which was announced on Jan 13, Dr Sim reminded that the festival must be celebrated under the new norm.
“We have lost so many lives and we cannot bring them back. Please get vaccinated, follow the SOP, and hold off any gatherings or celebrations for awhile more.
“We hope that the worse is over, but the virus keeps changing and we see so much of the unknown. As we progressively improve and opening up, we have to do it slowly. Just like water, we can shut the tap very fast, but to switch it back on, we have to do it bit by bit, depending on the situation. If it is unsafe again, we will have to repeat the same thing again. This is to ensure everyone’s safety,” Dr Sim said after the earth-breaking ceremony of SJKC Kai Nang.
He added that the number of positive cases in Sarawak were reduced to single digits for the last few days but now it was back up to double digits.
Dr Sim, who is also the Minister for Public Health, Housing and Local Government reminded everyone to always wear a face mask, avoid crowded areas or big gatherings, and always practise social distancing.
As for CNY standard operating procedures (SOPs), Dr Sim confirmed that SDMC chairman Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas has receive the letter of appeal and they will sit down to deliberate the matter.
Earlier, the SOPs stated that CNY celebrations in Sarawak will only be allowed on the first day of the festive season on Feb 1 and Chap Goh Mei, but limited to immediate or close family members only.
Any open house or house visiting, lion and dragon dance performances, or celebrations at temples or public spaces are not allowed.
The Sarawak Dragon-Lion Dance and Wushu Association has appealed to SDMC to review the SOPs as the State has already entered Phase 4 of the National Recovery Plan (NRP). — DayakDaily