Curbing The Spread Of An Infectious Disease Is Not “Playing Politics”

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Press Statement by YB Kelvin Yii:

The need for quarantine order in Sarawak to be fairly practised to ALL including VVIPs and politicians is not merely “playing politics”, but an important infectious disease control in order to protect the people we serve especially here in Sarawak.

YB Tiong King Sing recently dismissed my call for fair treatment for all including VVIPs and politicians to go proper quarantine when coming in to Sarawak from Red Zones especially Selangor and KL, claiming that i was merely playing politics and seeking cheap publicity

I reiterate that in Sarawak, we have one of the best advantages in terms of controlling the disease which is our immigration autonomy where we can limit those coming in and subject them to quarantine thus reducing chances of local transmission especially for those coming from high-risk areas. However, this advantage will be compromised when we start making too many exemptions even for these VVIPs.

He claims that he and other State politicians were given exemption for quarantine as they submitted documents that shows that they are negative(-ve) at least 3 days before flying in, but it is important to remember that test itself does not guarantee that they will not catch the virus right after they did that test, or maybe when the test was done, the virus is still in the incubation period thus does not show up in the test.

This is clearly shown in the recently declared “Mador cluster”
where the patient also undergone a Covid19 swab test at a private laboratory in SC Medan Tunku Kuala Lumpur, prior to his return and was tested negative.

Upon his arrival in Sibu, he was given Home Surveliance Order(HSO) and he went back to stay at his long house at Sg Mador, Meradong.

He was then tested again doing an RT-PCR on thr 8th day which came back negative even though he was assymptomatic. While he was in the long house, he had dinner with the family, and many came for visit especially during the Christmas festive season.

Currently there a total of eight positive cases detected from this cluster, including the index case, while the remaining 113 are awaiting results.

This is just one example of a case where they were tested negative when flying back, but positive after that. Does YB Tiong thinks that politicians do not face the same risk as everyone else from being infected as well?

What is more concerning in this case is how that patient went back to his long house, and due to nature of the long house, the risk of exposure to many especially the elderly is high. On top of that, if there is a massive outbreak especially in the rural areas, i am concern that our healthcare fascility in those areas cannot cope with the outbreak.

Based on YB Tiong’s statement, he claims that he knows what precautions to take including avoidiing crowded areas, but from his public photos, he was clearly seen visiting public markets and even visiting rural long house where there is not only crowds but also risk exposure to vulnerable groups especially the elderly.

While i am also given exemption, but i took my self initiative to quarantine based on the concerns expressed but even in quarantine, we continue to remain productive to serve our constituency through modern technology for meetings and also mobilising our team to serve the ground for the time being.

I believe our people will understand as this move is protecting and prioritising the health concern of our them first and foremost.

There is no reason that YB Tiong and the rest of State leaders cannot follow the same procedures not just to protect the people, but set an example that there should not be double standards in SOPs to curb the spread of an infectious disease.

While it is our responsibility to serve our constituency, but more importantly is to protect them and not be reckless especially when the risk of assymptomatic infection is real.

We all play a part in curbing thks disease, and there is no hierachy or priviledge when it comes to infectious disease control.

Kelvin Yii Lee Wuen
MP Bandar Kuching