Uggah: Deterring Covid-19 fake news on social media not easy

Uggah (white shirt) exchanging pleasantries with young girls in traditional Iban costumes upon his arrival at Rh.Lidi in Ulu Babu, Debak, today (Oct 31, 2020).

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KUCHING, Oct 31: The proliferation of fake news on social media is a major challenge for  State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, says Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas.

Uggah, who is also SDMC chairman, pointed out that it has created confusion and caused unduly worries among members of the public in the state.

“This makes our job harder. At the onset, it was equally challenging too, to get all government departments and agencies at both state and federal levels and most importantly the people themselves, to move as one in the fight.

“We had to ensure the Health Department as the leading agency, has  enough frontliner staff  and facilities, in particular the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

“Fortunately, we have been able to achieve all these. It is again the people’s undivided support and collaboration that have been and are very important,” Uggah said in his speech when officiating the Information Department Sepakat@Komunity programme held at Rh Lidi Busok in Ulu Babu, Debak, today.

He said the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic in the state still needs the unconditional collaboration and support of everyone.

Uggah believed that its transmission can be under control when all continue to dutifully comply with all the standard operating procedure (SOP) laid out.

“This was evident in the last few months where the state had recorded the absence of or single digit case. But then this month we saw our cases start to increase after the Sabah state poll.

“We had people coming back to the state then, and now about 60 per cent of our positive cases are imported cases,” he added.

Meanwhile, Uggah also called on all community leaders in rural areas to play their part in leading the fight against Covid-19 pandemic.

According to him, the community leaders must insist that all the SOPs, especially on social distancing, avoiding large gatherings and frequent washing of the hands are observed in their respective villages and longhouses.

He said it is a positive sign that some of them still do not welcome outsiders or visitors to the longhouses and villages.

At the same time, Uggah reminded those from outside of the Kuching district not travel to the district, which is now a red zone area, if they had no urgent business to attend to.

“By the same token, I hope those in Kuching district will refrain from travelling to other districts for now, and SDMC will continue to closely monitor the situation throughout the state.

“We have sufficient enforcement programmes and we have sufficient government funding,” he assured. –DayakDaily.