Press Statement by Abdul Aziz:
I was flabbergasted when I read the recent statement made by the Deputy Chairman for State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah who, without shame allows the food sellers to operate from their homes for the Ramadan fasting month.
Such statement is absurdity in nature, very irresponsible and blatantly ridiculous as it will put the life of the public at risk. Any reasonable man in his position would not bulldoze to make such announcement knowing that it will jeopardize the life of Sarawakians.
Furthermore, his announcement which was posted by the Unit Komunikasi Awam Sarawak (UKAS) yesterday received a backlash from the public. It is very clear that the latest statement announced by Abdul Karim is very unpopular and did not receive applause from the public. See https://m.facebook.com/story.phpstory_fbid=1850546981743324&id=1247686682029360
Since the state government led by GPS likes to make u-turns, in my opinion, this is the right time for Abdul Karim to make a u-turn for the sake of Sarawakians. There are several reasons why Abdul Karim should make a u-turn:
Firstly, this is a matter of public interest, no longer a public policy. Since it concerns the welfare of the general public and society, Abdul Karim should abide by the advice made by the Director-General for Ministry of Health (MoH) Datuk Seri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah as to not jeopardise the life of our people. Even though Abdul Karim adviced the person who wants to go out to strictly observe the one-person-per-car rule imposed under the movement control order (MCO), what are the chances for the people to violate the rule? This is because there is a high chance for these people to violate the rule especially during night-time where visibility can be compromised. Can Abdul Karim ensure that there will be zero percentage of people to violate
Secondly, this is to avoid the third wave of Covid-19 pandemic. The MoH has been working so hard on its efforts to flatten the curve of Covid-19 cases with a condition that the government and the people continue enforcing the safety measures in place. It is predicted by many public health specialists that the number of new cases might drop at the end of April and we may see a
positive result in the middle of May. This is because, at the moment, the number of new cases seems to be at a constant level. The estimation of a flattened curve was based on the current situation and on certain assumptions behind the models used to predict the statistics.
However, if the public refuses to comply with stay-home orders due to the latest announcement made by Abdul Karim, there is a probability for the Covid-19 infection to increase. According to Dr Noor Hisham, 88 per cent of all Covid-19 patients have either no symptoms or are only suffering from mild symptoms. Thus, if Abdul Karim continues with his decision to allow the
public to do takeaway orders during night time, there is a probability for these asymptomatic patients to spread the viruses and eventually cause the spread cases to spike. If the spread cases spikes, then we will be in deep trouble as we enter the third wave of Covid-10 pandemic.
Thirdly is to not complicate the enforcement of MCO. The main concern for this is that social distancing will be difficult to enforce where there is a big group of people. How can SDMC ensure that the people will follow the social distancing? Even if it is argued that only small number of groups will not follow social distancing, this small percentage has the probability toincrease the spread of Covid-19. From that small percentage, it will eventually contribute to the spike of Covid-19 outbreak.
Lastly is to reduce the burden of our frontliners. Our frontliners have been working tirelessly for about three months to combat this Covid-19 outbreak. The MoH even streamlined the workforce in government hospitals to reduce the burden on health workers. But if SDMC wants to continue allowing the food sellers to operate from homes during Ramadan fasting month, then we will add more burden to the frontliners whilst tampering the MoH efforts.
As such, on behalf of the majority of Sarawakians who are concerned about this issue, I strongly urge Abdul Karim to lower his ego and listen to the majority of Sarawakians by making a u-turn immediately.