Tupong rep: Completely shutting down businesses will not fully resolve Covid-19 crisis

Fazzrudin Abdul Rahman

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By Ling Hui

KUCHING, May 2: A blanket decision like the complete shutdown of businesses in Covid-19 red zones will not work in solving the Covid-19 pandemic entirely; instead the strict practise of standard operating procedures (SOPs) must be observed everywhere in Sarawak.

This view was expressed by Tupong assemblyman Fazzrudin Abdul Rahman. He noted the opening of the Metrocity N6 Youth Night Market from April 30 to May 11, while is in favour of the hawkers to conduct their businesses, also comes with strict SOPs.

“While Kuching is in the Covid-19 red zone and is something that all of us should be worried about, it is all up to us to work together and to adhere to SOPs to ensure that we flatten the infection curve.

“This includes the need to practise the SOPs wherever we go and in everything we do. A blanket decision like completely shutting down business for instance will not solve the problem fully.

“We should take other elements into consideration,” he told DayakDaily today.

He said adding on that most business operators at the Metrocity night market are full-time hawkers who are fully dependant on their income at the night market to put food on the table and provide for their families.

He emphasised that it was not only two or three but hundreds of families which have been affected since Covid-19 appeared in the country, followed by the implementation of different versions of Movement Control Order (MCO).

While supportive of the night market to continue its operations for the sake of the livelihoods of local hawkers, Fazzrudin asserted that the night market was only opened after receiving approval from the State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) following some strict inspections on the ground.

“When our committee member applied then to re-open, SDMC went down on the ground to see the measures taken by the night market. Only when they were satisfied with the safety measures was the night market allowed to operate.

“This time around, the night market committee explained all the measures that will be taken if allowed to re-open and they will always adhere to the directive issued by SDMC including closing down the market entirely if needed,” he said.

He was responding to dissenting voices on social media viewing the operation of the night market as an opening for another Covid-19 outbreak and new clusters to occur.

Nevertheless, Fazzrudin said the directives by the Sarawak government must be obeyed and constant engagement between leaders and the community is important for the economy to reopen to reduce the burden of the people.

“At the same time, do understand the plight of those who are simply wanting to make ends meet. It’s not that they are unafraid of Covid-19, but they have to put food on the table,” he added. — DayakDaily