‘Semi-relaxed’ MCO extension not time to cool off — Padungan rep

Wong King Wei

KUCHING, April 12: The latest phase of the movement control order (MCO) is no longer an extension but a “semi-relaxed” MCO, said Padungan assemblyman Wong King Wei.

With nine business sectors being given the green light to resume operation, he said the movement of the community was going to increase, and this might lead to the 28-day MCO being in vain.

The MCO started on March 18 and was extended to April 14. On Friday (April 10), Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced another extension of the MCO until April 28.

“Here are the reasons why I’m saying this. In Sarawak alone, we have about or over 100 person-under-investigation (PUI) cases on a daily basis.

“Based on past records, 15 per cent to 20 per cent of these PUI cases were Covid-19 positive. This translates into between 25 and 30 Covid-19 positive cases per day,” he said in a statement.

As far as Sarawak is concerned, Wong said although the number of PUI maintained at a hundred or so, it had not shown any sign of dropping and this has brought the state an increasing number of accumulated PUI cases.

He said the number of recovered persons was relatively low and this was deemed another factor that Sarawak should not take lightly.

“Given all these, if we do not enhance the MCO during the 14 days in the third phase but to relax it, we may not be able to break the chain of infection.

“Adopting a more relaxing manner in the enforcement of the MCO may result in a new wave of infection. When this happens, we might have to restart another round of MCO.

“Not only will this put more healthy people and lives at stake but it will also further deteriorate our economy,” he said.

Wong believed that if certain businesses were permitted to operate, Sarawak could do so through zoning, and not basing it on the types of businesses.

Citing an example, he said there were areas in Sarawak that registered nearly zero PUI and these areas could see a more relaxed enforcement of MCO after heeding advice from medical experts.

However, people from high-risk areas such as Kuching and Kota Samarahan must not be allowed to travel to other divisions, he added.

“Sarawak has its own autonomy and we shall make full use of our autonomy to come up with movement restrictions that suit the situation in the state.

“The chief minister of Sarawak should not follow blindly the decision of the prime minister, because the prime minister has to take other factors into consideration rather than making the decision based on the needs of Sarawak,” he continued. — DayakDaily