Shoppers, businesses reminded to follow SOPs, especially during festivals

Uggah (centre) flanked by Minister for Local Government and Housing Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian (left) and Assistant Minister in the Chief Minister’s Department Abdullah Saidol at a press conference in Kuching today (May 21, 2020). Screenshot taken from a Sarawak Public Communication Unit (UKAS) broadcast.

By Adrian Lim

KUCHING, May 21: Shoppers and business operators must abide by standard operating procedures (SOPs) outlined by the Ministry for Local Government and Housing.

In view of the current Covid-19 situation in Sarawak, Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas reminded the public especially those celebrating Hari Raya Aidilfitri and Hari Gawai to take precautionary measures while shopping.

He also urges business operators to comply with the SOPs that were issued by the state government.

“Although most shoppers and businessmen have complied with the SOPs, there are certain parties who have openly defied the SOPs such as in shopping malls, grocery outlets and other shopping centres.

“There were many Sarawakians who uploaded online images and videos of those who violated the SOPs and viralled it. Their non-compliance is a worrisome situation.

“The ministry has issued a SOP for the retail sector which serves as guidelines for all businesses which are allowed to resume operations,” he said during a press conference here today.

He explained the SOP includes following social distancing at all times, limiting the number of customers in a business premises, and ensuring staff, suppliers and customers have their body temperature checked prior to being allowed entry as well as wearing face masks, and providing hand sanitizer.

Uggah who is Second Finance Minister pointed out that the SOPs are required to be implemented at shopping complexes, supermarkets, hypermarkets, departmental stores, fashion boutiques, convenience stores, mini marts and grocery outlets.

Employers are required to coordinate and monitor staff and customers to ensure adherence to the said SOPs at all times.

Meanwhile, Uggah who is the State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) chairman revealed that the committee is drafting various strategies to prepare for a potential second wave of Covid-19 infections which could hit Sarawak.

Following a report presented yesterday by former state Health Department director Datu Dr Andrew Kiyu on the prevention and control of Covid-19, Uggah said the report has proposed measures to be implemented as preparation to handle the second wave of Covid-19 infections in Sarawak.

Drawing upon the experiences of Japan and Singapore which experienced a resurgence of Covid-19 infections, the committee is strategising to avoid the same occuring here, Uggah said.

He emphasised that although the committee can draft a strategy and implement it, more importantly in curbing the spread of Covid-19 is the role played by Sarawakians in ensuring this second wave does not occur in Sarawak.

Thus, Uggah urged the public to abide by the SOPs strictly and practise good personal hygiene at all times. — DayakDaily