By John Isaac
THE Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) must clearly outline their targets and exit strategy after deciding not to adopt the nationwide MCO in favour of an enhanced CMCO.
They must also state what they expect to achieve when the CMCO ends on May 17.
“While I am supportive of Sarawak having the ‘autonomy” to make decisions and formulate required SOPs based on local needs, decisions must be based on science and data rather than political considerations.
“That is why, it is important for the public to know exactly what SDMC is trying to achieve in adopting such a strategy rather than a full MCO, especially in areas where there are high infective rates, high numbers, and the healthcare system, especially ICU beds are full,” said Bandar Kuching MP, Dr Kelvin Yii.
He said he was concerned over the recent statement by state health director Dr Chin Zin Hing that the usage of intensive care units (ICU) in government hospitals in Sarawak had reached a critical level following the surge of Covid-19 cases in the state.
“I was made aware that supplies of PPE in certain hospitals are also at a critical level. Which means, if effective interventions are not taken, our healthcare system in main outbreak areas may be overrun, especially with the detection of different variants here in Sarawak.
“With high cases and low vaccination rates in Sarawak, we also do not want to provide a conducive environment for the virus to mutate even more, making it infective and harder to control,” he said.
He said while it is a tough task to balance between health and economic considerations, the government must get the health side under control, otherwise, the economy will continue to suffer.
Even so, the government must look at providing financial assistance to industries that are severely affected by this enhanced SOPs including the hawkers.
Businesses have dropped significantly for them and the government should look at extending financial assistance to help them through this tough time.
“The government must learn from their mistakes, as businesses and the public are suffering more from the flip-flops, inconsistencies, and last-minute announcements rather than the MCO/CMCO itself.
“If it was thoughtfully planned, announced, and executed in the first place, we won’t be in such a difficult position,” added Dr Kelvin.