Don’t over celebrate, follow SOPs

Datuk Seri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom

KUCHING: With the recent spikes in Covid-19 cases in Sarawak especially those involving longhouses, Utilities Minister Datuk Seri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom today advised the Dayak community to take extra precautions during the upcoming Gawai celebration.

He said this included refraining from organising gatherings and functions involving large crowds in which many have failed to observe the standard operating procedures (SOPs).

“During this coming Gawai, it is advisable for those staying in towns or respective longhouses to stay put and refrain from Gawai visiting.

“Instead, they should celebrate Gawai in the new normal amongst family members only to cut the chain of Covid-19 transmissions,” he said.

Penguang Manggil

Meanwhile, Assistant Minister of Local Government and Housing Datuk Dr Penguang Manggil hoped that the upcoming Hari Raya Aidilfitri and Gawai festivities would be celebrated in full compliance with the SOPs and that everyone can practise self-discipline, and celebrate with family members only.

“We have two very important celebrations coming in May and June within a space of two weeks. This is indeed a great concern to Sarawak because of the high number of Covid-19 cases as well as the new strains that have emerged in other parts of the world,” he said.

As such, he hoped that there would be no visiting during these festivities due to the worrying current Covid-19 situation in Sarawak.

“For those staying in towns and cities, try not to go back to the villages and longhouses, because most of the infections especially in the rural areas now are imported,” he advised.

Though he noted this could be a sensitive matter, he urged the people to adhere to any Covid-19 measures and restrictions for their own sake.

“Kita jaga kita (we take care of each other). I expect that enforcement authorities to play their part to ensure compliance with the SOPs,” he said.

He added that once Covid-19 was within the community, it would be very difficult to control.

“I strongly believe that if we place our public safety first and cooperate with the Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) and the enforcement authorities, as always we will be able to succeed and we will be on the right path leading to a normal life,” said Penguang.

At the same time, he called upon those who had yet registered for their Covid-19 vaccination to do so as soon as possible through the relevant channels.