Rural folks urged to adapt to ‘new normal’

Tan Sri William Mawan

By Adrian Lim

KUCHING, May 2: The communities in the rural areas have been urged to adapt to the ‘new normal’ lifestyles.

Those include practising good hygiene and social distancing as well as wearing face masks when going outdoors amid the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) situation in Sarawak.

Pakan assemblyman Tan Sri William Mawan believes that the rural community needs to adjust their lifestyles and embrace new approaches such as the use of electronic banking in view of Covid-19.

“The obvious issue faced by the rural community was the lack of banking facilities for them to withdraw cash for their daily need.

“The agriculture sector was not so badly affected as Sarawak has policies that allow farmers to continue their daily farming activities and any excess produce was bought by the government from them through our Agriculture Department and Federal Agricultural Marketing Authority (FAMA).

“If everyone including those in the rural community play their part well, Sarawak should be able to break the chain and control the spread of Covid-19.

“Besides, the state government needs to play an active to inform and educate the rural communities on the various standard operating procedures (SOPs) from time to time,” he said in a statement.

Mawan asserted that all the guidelines and SOPs including the need to obtain the permission slip for inter-district travel must be observed to ensure that most rural areas remain as green zones.

He opined that Sarawak should formulate its own SOPs to suit the economic and geographical conditions with regards to reopening of businesses and industries.

On another note, Mawan stressed that the stocks of face masks must be made available at rural pharmacies to enable the rural community to replenish them when needed.—DayakDaily