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KUCHING, April 28: SDMC should take the lead to introduce a clear and specific “alert level system” to replace the current confusing “MCO/CMCO/RMCO” system to ensure better public compliance to break the chain of Covid-19 infections.
Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii proposed this in response to the Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC)’s decision to extend the current Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) in Sarawak to May 17, 2021 and update their standard operating procedures (SOPs) for the different districts.
“While I support such a move especially with the high cases and even positive rate in Sarawak, but the ever-changing SOPs and conflicting SOPs between districts are causing a lot of confusion among the public and even business owners.
“I have been receiving all kinds of feedback from them and many are more confused when they read the updated SOPs. Many of them want to follow the required SOPs and are diligently following them since the beginning but would want more certainty and clarity,” said Dr Yii in a statement today.
He added the government could not continue to blame the public for not complying with SOPs if the SOPs themselves are so confusing.
He proposed that SDMC to take the lead by implementing a better system by asserting Sarawak’s autonomy in public health management, under Schedule 9 of Federal Constitution where public health is listed on the concurrent list which means joint responsibility between the federal and State governments.
“The issue with the current system where different ‘fancy names’ are being used is that each CMCO for example, differs from another CMCO during different periods and even districts. The current CMCO in Kuching is different from the CMCO in Miri, Bintulu or even Sibu.
“Fact of the matter, the CMCO introduced now is also different from the CMCO introduced last year, but all of it shares the same name,” said Dr Yii.
He pointed out that in comparison, an “alert level system” is clear and specific where clear SOPs are designated for each level, for example Level 1, Level 1a, Level 2 and so forth. When specific SOPs are set for each level, all the government needs to announce the level for each district. All the public need to do is to check the SOPs in each level and follow them accordingly.
This category of levels, he said, will then be based on specific parameters including transmission rates, positive rates, hospital pressure and deaths. The government then can decide based on these scientific measures to categorise each district or even sub-district based on this granular data and then properly inform the public.
“This has been something I have been pushing since last year in Parliament. With this, there will be less confusion and conflicting SOPs which will result in better compliance. Enforcement should also be increased to help the public comply with the required SOPs but it must be educational in spirit, and not punitive,” said Dr Yii. — DayakDaily