Don’t relax MCO yet, Sarawak MP urges state govt

Bandar Kuching MP Kelvin Yii.

PETALING JAYA: Bandar Kuching MP Kelvin Yii today urged the Sarawak government not to relax restrictions under the movement control order (MCO) after Sarawakians were yesterday given the green light to sell takeaway food from their homes during Ramadan.

Yii said the decision by the Sarawak Disaster Management Committee permitting Sarawakians to sell food from their homes from 3pm to 10pm was made without proper consideration of the risks involved and could derail all the good work achieved under the MCO over the past few weeks.

Sarawak has two red zones, Kuching and Kota Samarahan. Without a vaccine for Covid-19, an extensive testing mechanism or a strategy to prevent another spike in cases, Yii said, it would be premature to call for a relaxation of the MCO in the state.

“This decision effectively opens people’s homes to outsiders who may be carriers of the virus without knowing it, especially for asymptomatic patients,” he said in a statement today.

“This may also encourage lingering outside or unnecessary travels late at night, even though we are still not out of the woods yet. Currently the cases, especially in Kuching, are still high and our death rate and other statistics are still worrying.”

Yii also questioned how enforcement officers would ensure compliance with the new ruling, especially if they would have to extend their working hours.

He said his Muslims friends also disagreed with the decision, noting that it was not necessary to stretch the hours to 10pm.

He also voiced concern that the decision would increase the risk of a secondary wave of infections such as that seen in Singapore and Hokkaido.

“I strongly believe (that) only after we effectively curb the spread of this virus, including intensifying efforts to identify and test the reported 2,000+ close contacts to the three main clusters in Kuching and increasing our testing capabilities to properly better reflect the true rate of community infections, can we consider a plan to relax the restrictions under the MCO,” he said.


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