No advance notice to prevent residents from fleeing lockdowns, says Tiong

Dato Sri Tiong King Sing

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KUCHING, May 28: Authorities will not give advance notices before a lockdown is implemented in order to prevent residents fleeing from a lockdown, said Bintulu MP Dato Seri Tiong King Sing.

In pointing this out, Tiong said doing so would allow residents who are unwilling to be quarantined for 14 days to potentially spread the coronavirus if they are indeed infected.

“Case in point, there was a confirmed case in one longhouse who was admitted to hospital but before the authorities could place the quarantine on the longhouse, all the residents had disappeared, and not a single soul left in the area,” he said in a press statement today.

Tiong explained areas that require immediate lockdown are those found to have extremely high numbers of confirmed Covid-19 cases.

He pointed out for instance, in Sg Plan, which had been locked down for several days, had nearly 30 confirmed cases detected as of today, including one death.

He said the deceased was admitted to the hospital on May 20 and passed away on May 26, and all of these confirmed cases were asymptomatic patients.

“It is really difficult to imagine how many people would be infected if such people freely walked about? Therefore in order to prevent the pandemic from spreading further, a complete lockdown is the most effective measure in curbing cases,” he added.

Tiong said even though Sg Plan had been locked down, the authorities still detected a family trying to escape via ‘jalan tikus’ (ungazetted road), which are small mostly unknown paths which resulted in making the early notice strategy of announcing lockdowns unworkable and ineffective.

As such, he called for the cooperation from all residents who are put under lockdown for the sake of everyone’s health.

“It is not a game. If people do not help themselves, no one else will be able to save them. Does anyone feel their life is so worthless that they would rather tempt fate than cooperate with the SOPs to prevent Covid-19?,” he asked.

Tiong also clarified that the original intention of the Bintulu District Disaster Management Committee (DDMC) is not to arrest anyone but to identify potential crises in the community and eradicate the problem.

“In all honesty, we could completely allow the people to choose how they want to deal with the pandemic. The personnel combating the pandemic can only do so much to protect our precious lives but they continue to do so out of duty and dedication,” he said. — DayakDaily