Industries advised to wait for JBPN directive before rushing to open for business: SMC

SMC enforcement officers checking their temperature before going down the field

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SIBU, Apr 11: People in industries now allowed to operate during the extended movement control order (MCO) have been advised to wait for the directive from the State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) before reopening their businesses.

Sibu Municipal Council (SMC) chairman Councilor Clarence Ting today urged everyone to wait for SDMC announcement instead of jumping in conclusion that they can operate their business starting April 15.

“Yesterday evening, I had lots of people contact me about the announcements by the Federal Government that some sectors are allowed to operate. I told them that in Sarawak we only follow SDMC directives. As of yesterday, SDMC has not made such announcements even though our Chief Minister right after PM’s announcement said the State will follow the extension of MCO April 28,” said Clarence.

Subsequently, after the prime minister had announced the MCO extension, Senior Minister Datuk Seri Azmin Ali said the Federal Government will allow some industries to operate during the extended movement control order (MCO), but that health and safety of the workers remain a top priority.

According to Azmin, these industries, which include non-essential and professional services, must apply online from 9am on Monday (April 13) on the International Trade and Industry Ministry’s (Miti) website for permission to operate during the MCO period.

The MCO was extended yesterday for the second time to April 28, as announced by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, in a bid to curb the spread of Covid-19, which has severely impacted economic activities.

The list from Miti includes industries such as automotive, machinery and equipment, aerospace, construction projects, social health services including traditional and complementary medicine practitioners, hardware and electrical shops, opticians as well as full-service laundrettes and hair salons/barber shops (haircuts only).

Ting said for those who are eager to open their business, their primary consideration should not be government directives.

“You should be thinking about whether it is safe for yourself and your staff to open the business. Don’t forget that MCO is in place for your own health safety. I understand our eagerness after 24 days in MCO to want to get back to our old lives, but with the threat of further infections we better be careful than be sorry,” he advised.

He also urged operators of industries that are allowed to operated starting April 15, to put in place measures that would give every staff peace of mind.

“Putting in place measures that would minimize exposure to Covid-19 like temperature measurement, face masks, social distancing, and handwashing facilities,” he explained. —DayakDaily