Masing: Closing govt offices due to minimal Covid-19 cases may hamper economic recovery

Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing

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KUCHING, Sept 8: The standard operating procedure (SOP) to lockdown government offices when minimal Covid-19 cases are detected will slow down the country’s economic recovery process.

Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing had observed that lockdowns are imposed in government offices when there are one or two Covid-19 confirmed cases identified among their officers.

“This virus, i was informed, will be with us for a while, and if we follow the current lockdown SOP in government offices every time a Covid-19 positive (case) is found, we are in for a long haul.

“Businesses and industries will suffer. The worse hit will be daily paid workers.

“If businesses, especially those who employ daily paid workers, are slow in opening, because the process in approving the required documentation responsible by relevant government departments is delayed due to periodically closing government offices for fear of Covid-19, then this country’s economic recovery will be in trouble,” said Masing in a statement today.

Masing, who is Infrastructure and Port Development Minister, said since the virus is here to stay, the government itself must provide “strategic economic moves” whereby the whole of society learns to live with the virus.

To the Baleh assemblyman, the private sector must be involved in Sarawak’s economic recovery plans as they are the government’s strategic partners in the State’s development.

“Currently the Ministry of Health is taking the correct steps by moving us into the relevant Phases 2 and 3 (of National Recovery Plan) in economic recovery. I just hope they are fast enough to catch up with this ever-evolving and mutating virus,” said Masing. — DayakDaily