KUCHING (Dec 9): Sarawakians are strongly advised to stay home and avoid visiting each other’s houses during the coming Christmas and New Year holiday period to prevent anymore spike in Covid-19 cases, said Local Government and Housing Minister Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian.
Dr Sim said he hoped Sarawakians living outside the state would consider temporarily putting off their plans to return home for the holidays.
He pointed out that although Sarawak was close to getting the Covid-19 vaccine, physical distancing protocols and wearing of face masks must still be practiced to curb further spread of the coronavirus.
“So, stay home this Christmas and New Year. Why? Because we want you to have many more Christmas and New Year celebrations to enjoy. We don’t want this to be the last Christmas and last New Year for you. The vaccine is coming soon.
“We suffered a lot through this whole already this year, might as well continue (with our physical distancing protocols) just a bit longer,” he said when met by reporters after he launched the state-level International Anti Corruption Day 2020 at Wisma Bapa Malaysia today.
Dr Sim, who is also in the panel of advisors for Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC), thanked Sarawakians for their cooperation in lowering the number of Covid-19 infections although he acknowledged that many are now feeling tired and frustrated with the situation.
He said for the coming Christmas and New Year holidays, he said the same level of cooperation rendered during the last Gawai and Hari Raya festive period should be repeated.
“For those in West Malaysia, with the festive season and holidays, please stay put there temporarily. Just like Hari Gawai and Raya, don’t come back this year. To those in urban areas, stay where we are, don’t go back to kampung.
“To those who are here in Sarawak, we urge them to please not visit (Covid-19 declared) red zones in West Malaysia and Sabah. The reported Covid-19 cases in Sarawak was always because of imported cases involving Sarawakians coming back from infected zones and unknowingly going around spreading (the virus) to family and friends.
“We are so near, the vaccine is almost there. So we don’t want any more Sarawakian lives to be lost. We lost 19 lives already (due to Covid-19) and we don’t want to lose any more… We haven’t had any deaths for quite few months already,” he said.
He said that throughout Malaysia, there are already more than 75,000 getting infected this year with 34,000 cases just in last month. He added almost 400 people had died, with one quarter of the figures recorded last month.
For Sarawak, a total 1,072 cases were recorded as of Dec 8 (yesterday) and 19 deaths.
When questioned about the vaccine, Dr Sim said he was made to understand that the the vaccine will be coming to Malaysia by the beginning of next year.
“Everyone in the world is trying to get the vaccine at the moment and I think we will have to leave it to the medical experts to assess the different vaccines.
“Even in United Kingdom, they need the health regularity experts to assess the vaccine. It’s not about injecting people just like that because we must make sure all vaccines are safe. We don’t want to give it to people and they die (because of the vaccine),” he said.
Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin on Nov 27 announced that Putrajaya had signed a preliminary agreement with pharmaceutical company Pfizer to procure 12.8 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine to meet the immunisation needs of 20 per cent or 6.4 million Malaysians.
Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah, during his winding up speech in the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) on Nov 13, said the state government will ensure that Sarawakians have access to the Covid-19 vaccine.
Uggah, who is also SDMC chairman, said Abang Johari had also pledged to allocate funds to ensure that all Sarawakians have access to the vaccine once the doses were made available for the state.
Source: Borneo Post