Mental issues could be cause for high number of missing persons

Dr Ismail

By Peter Sibon

KUCHING, May 13: The reason for the extraordinarily high number of people gone missing in the past two months could not be solely due to Movement Control Order (MCO) triggered by Covid-19 pandemic, opined a consultant psychiatrist at Kota Sentosa Hospital Dr Ismail Drahman.

He reiterated that the implementation of MCO was crucial to break the chain of infection of Covid-19 pandemic.

“In my opinion, the implementation of MCO due to the Covid-19 pandemic was unpreceded in our history. So too for the rest of the world. We have not experienced this kind of restricted movement since the time of Konfrontasi (Confrontation 1962-1966) and later on, the curfews during the emergency (to contain the communists’ insurgency).

“But definitely, many people have gotten stressed up due to anxiety and also due to social uncertainties especially for those who have lost their jobs,” Dr Ismail told DayakDaily when contacted today.


Dr Ismail who was a former director of Kota Sentosa Hospital, pointed out that it would be difficult for the people to adjust their lives post Covid-19 with the so-called ‘new norms’.

“Anything new will cause anxiety to the people because we all have to adjust our lives to the ‘new norms’ post Covid-19 pandemic,” he added.

Dr Ismail was commenting on Sarawak Fire and Rescue Services (Bomba) chief Khiruddin Drahman’s disclosure yesterday that over the last two months, his department had conducted 1,158 cases involving rescue operations which also include search-and-rescue (SAR) operations for missing individuals which he described as very high.

The Bomba chief also revealed that most SAR cases involved missing individuals in jungles and at sea.

“Perhaps people were bored staying at home, hence they went out to the jungle to hunt and to sea to fish,” Khiruddin was telling a press conference yesterday.

Khiruddin added that the longest recorded SAR case was the one at Telaga Air which was carried out for seven days.—DayakDaily