Sarawak maintains MCO SOP; hair salons, night markets to remain close

Uggah (centre) addressing the Covid-19 update press conference. Also seen are SDMC advisor Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian (left) and State Health Department director Dr Chin Zin Hing

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By Karen Bong

KUCHING, Feb 4: Car-wash services, hair salons and night markets are still not allowed to reopen in areas under Movement Control Order (MCO) despite Federal government easing the restrictions for Peninsular Malaysia.

Currently, Sibu division including Kanowit and Selangau as well as Kapit and Song are placed under MCO until Feb 14 and Feb 15 respectively.

State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) chairman Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas emphasised that Sarawak will maintain the current Covid-19 standard operating procedures (SOP) and restrictions in areas under MCO.

“But we will discuss this in tomorrow’s meeting to see if there is a need to make changes.

“Sarawak has always been different. Even though the whole country is now under MCO, in Sarawak however, only several areas are under MCO while the rest remain in Conditional MCO (MCO).

“We will adjust our SOP in accordance with the situation in Sarawak,” he told a press conference on Covid-19 update here today.

Meanwhile, Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob in a press conference today announced that the government will allow car-wash services, hair salons and night markets to reopen starting Friday (Feb 5).

He added that the government is also studying whether to allow more businesses to operate throughout the MCO period.

Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassion, in a special televised address to the nation, said that the Malaysian government is trying to strike a balance in protecting lives while ensuring economic activities can continue as the country struggles to contain the soaring number of Covid-19 cases.

Noting that a total lockdown would be the best way to control the sharp spike in cases, he however said that it would have negative repercussions for the economy.

Instead, he emphasised that tighter SOP and restrictions will be imposed while essential businesses can continue to operate.

“The government listens to your views by not shutting down the economy during the MCO period. So please reciprocate this gesture by complying strictly with the SOP so that we can ensure business and trade can continue to operate, while at the same time helping to break the chain of Covid-19 transmission at the workplace and in the community,” Muhyiddin urged. — DayakDaily