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By Karen Bong
KUCHING, May 29: Kuching South City Council (MBKS) mayor Datuk Wee Hong Seng is appealing to the public to stop stigmatising Covid-19 patients and circulating their personal information on social media which is putting their families in greater distress.
“If you cannot give them (patients and families) moral support, please don’t hurt them. Nobody wants to be infected with this virus and they don’t even know how they were infected, so it is unfair to pinpoint them.
“It is not right for us to spread all these (personal information) around and even to the extent of insulting them which is unwarranted,” he said, criticising the unethical behaviour of certain members of the public.
Such stigmatising and discriminating attitudes, Wee emphasised, should not be encouraged in Sarawak’s community.
“More importantly, the personal information of Covid-19 patients should not be spread in social media which could hurt the entire family,” he told reporters after Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg launched the Sarawak Contact Tracing Apps at Wisma Bapa Malaysia today.
This appeal came following the identity cards of two Covid-19 patients in Kenyalang Park area being viraled on social media which Wee said have put the affected families in greater distress at a time when they need support.
He also noted that the families have lodged reports with the police and the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) over the case.
“Even the photos of their houses were taken and car plate numbers were being circulated online and their neigbours calling them to conduct sanitising and all that. This is unnecessary.
“The patients were already victims of Covid-19 and if the public cannot give them the support, please don’t hurt them because due to discrimination, people are treating them differently,” he reiterated.
He added it has even affected the movement of the families, especially when there were elderly in the house, while the victims are still being hospitalised.
“This is adding mental stress to the whole family when they would not even dare to come out from the house.
“I think this is not the nature of Sarawakians as we are people who are more loving, compassionate and empathising towards each other,” he said.
Wee urged the whole community to work together and fight Covid-19 instead of harrasing the victims.
“Instead, people should pray for them. This is nothing for you to spread around. Let people have their privacy and don’t discriminate them.
“Let’s encourage and educate people about social distancing and abide by the SOP (standard operating procedure) rather than digging into the privacy of affected families,” he advised.
Meanwhile, the Sarawak government launched two contact tracing apps namely the COVIDTrace and Qmunity to help authorities track the movements of people for Covid-19 contact tracing in an effort to curb Covid-19.
COVIDTrace was developed by Sarawak Information Systems Sdn Bhd (Sains) in collaboration with Sarawak Multimedia Authority (SMA) while Qmunity was developed as part of a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) project by Kuching South City Council (MBKS) in partnership with JT Utama Sdn Bhd, ARx Media Sdn Bhd and Huawei Cloud.—DayakDaily