Sarawak fulfills WHO criteria on Covid-19, says SUPP Dudong chief

Wong Ching Yong

KUCHING, June 5:  Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) Dudong chief Wong Ching Yong holds that Sarawak has fulfilled all the six criteria of World Health Organisation (WHO) to lift restricted movement control.

He contributed Sarawak’s zero cases for eight consecutive days to the combined efforts of all Sarawakians and the Sarawak government.

“Looking at the current situation, we are of the opinion that Sarawak state, through the combined efforts of the people, the communities, the front liners  and Sarawak State Government, especially the State Disaster Management Committee, has indeed fulfilled all of the above criteria.

“Sarawak has recorded zero new positive Covid-19 cases for the 8th consecutive day as at 4 June, 2020.  This is indeed remarkable for Sarawak but let’s not forget on the same day, Malaysia as a whole recorded 277 new cases, the vast majority (271) are from foreign workers community This is a spike of nearly eight folds compared with the number just recorded a day earlier ie 38 only,” said Wong.

Wong believed that the Ministry of Health is contemplating on the lifting of CMCO (conditional Movement Control Order) on June 9, 2020.

“Before we decide on that, let’s re-visit the WHO Criteria for lifting Covid-19 Restriction, published on April 15, 2020.  These are based on a notion of transitioning to and maintaining a steady state of low level or no transmission,” said Wong who listed the six criteria below:

1. Covid-19 transmission is controlled to a level of sporadic cases and clusters of cases, all from known contacts or importations and the incidence of new cases should be maintained at a level that the health system can manage.

2. Sufficient health system and public health capacities are in place to enable the major shift from detecting and treating mainly serious cases to detecting and isolating all cases, irrespective of severity and origin.

3. Outbreak risks in high-vulnerability settings are minimized, which requires all major drivers and/or amplifiers of Covid-19 transmission to have been identified, with appropriate measures in place to minimize the risk of new outbreaks and of nosocomial transmission.

4. Workplace preventive measures are established to reduce risk, including the appropriate directives and capacities to promote and enable standard Covid-19 prevention measures in terms of physical distancing, hand washing, respiratory etiquette and, potentially, temperature monitoring.

5. Risk of imported cases managed through an analysis of the likely origin and routes of importations, and measures in place to rapidly detect and manage suspected cases among travellers, including the capacity to quarantine.

6. Communities are fully engaged and understand that the transition entails a major shift, from detecting and treating only serious cases to detecting and isolating all cases, that behavioural prevention measures must be maintained.

It is thus his belief that Sarawak has fulfilled all the above criteria and the State should open where the immediate step is to focus on restoration of Sarawak’s economic activities.

“Our goal now should be focusing on the restoration of our state economic activities as quickly as possible.  At the same time, we should all remain vigilant and be responsible for ourselves, continue to practice good personal hygiene and maintain our social distancing.

“We look forward to the development of a vaccine against Covid-19 and hope that by then, a degree of normality would be regained,” said Wong. -DayakDaily