Lockdown 2.0 will be a delicate decision between health and economic issues

Richard Wee

KUCHING, Jan 29: It is a delicate balance between health and economic issues when it comes to making the decision whether the country should impose another total lockdown 2.0 following the spike of Covid-19 cases nationwide, said the president of the Federation of the Chinese Associations of Sarawak Datuk Richard Wee.

Furthermore, he said, a total lockdown on the economy would further devastate the wellbeing of the business community as it has yet to recover from the total lockdown 1.0 which was imposed on March last year.

“We will have to wait for more details before we can comment further. What Finance Minister Datuk Seri Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz had said did not contain any details of what kinds of businesses would be affected,” Wee told DayakDaily here today.

He asserted that insofar as Sarawak is concerned, the focus is now in Sibu where cases of Covid-19 have remained high.

“But if we can contain the Sibu Pasai Siong Cluster, then we don’t have to follow the rest of the country in imposing lockdown 2.0,” said Wee.

Wee was commenting on Tengku Zafrul’s statement today, whereby he reassured that Malaysia will not implement a total lockdown on the economy even if the worst-case scenario comes true.

Instead, he said the government will continue to focus on enforcing a more stringent standard operating procedures (SOPs), should the number of Covid-19 cases remained high in the country.

”Based on the current model, we believe the number of cases will go down. Assuming worst-case scenario (did come true), it will not be a total lockdown on the economy, we will continue to focus on more stringent SOP,” he reported by Bernama today.

Tengku Zafrul was responding to a question on whether or not that the government would shut down certain sectors, or which sectors would be the priority to be closed down if the Movement Control Order (MCO 2.0) has to be extended, or the Covid-19 vaccine rollout is not smooth as anticipated.

He said if the number of cases continued to rise, core issues such as the adherence and enforcement of the SOPs should be addressed.

Malaysia recorded 4,094 new Covid-19 cases yesterday (Jan 28), taking the country’s infection tally to 198,208 cases. -DayakDaily