SIBU: Assistant Minister of Education, Science and Technological Research Dr Annuar Rapaee has suggested that all schools in Sibu be closed for two weeks.
He said he had informed State Education director Dr Norisah Suhaili regarding the issue.
“I take the situation of the pandemic seriously as it puts the students and teachers at risk, considering that the positive cases in Sibu are on the rise once more.
“It is not just a matter of closing schools in Zone 1 to Zone 7, but the closure of all schools in Sibu.
“We will know the decision from the Education Office on Thursday (Apr 15),” said Dr Annuar who is also Assistant Minister of Local Government and Housing in his Facebook page on Wednesday.
While strict standard operating procedures (SOPs) would be enforced in Zone 1 to Zone 7 area in Lanang from April 16 – 26, he stressed that it was not an enhanced movement control order (EMCO).
“It is not EMCO or ‘lockdown’, the residents can still go out but it is only limited to three persons in a car, for example. No permit is required to enter and exit this area. It is a conditional movement control order (CMCO) but with certain conditions being tightened.
“The police will do a ‘spot check’ on who enters and exits the area to limit the movement in the seven zones.
“People who can enter and exit the zone area is limited to three persons in a car while those who work as deliverers of food or goods can still operate in the area, provided they strictly comply with the SOP,” explained Dr Annuar who is also the Sibu Division Disaster Management Committee (SDDMC) coordinator.
He said that it was not easy to implement a ‘lockdown’ in the Lanang area because it involved many main roads which are connected to the town centre.
Therefore, he said, SDDMC uses such methods to limit the movement of residents in the seven zones as well as outsiders in reducing Covid-19 positive cases.
According to Dr Annuar who is also Nangka assemblyman, on Wednesday (Apr 14) alone, these seven zones recorded 21 cases out of a total of 75 positive Covid-19 cases recorded in Sibu.
“On Thursday (Apr 15), the Sibu Municipal Council (SMC) will announce the closure of the Sibu Central Market and Sibu Night Market as they are in the zone, moreover, Sibu is still in a red zone,” he said.
Dr Annuar explained that the SOPs issued by SDDMC on CMCO with special conditions and tightened for Zone 1 to Zone 7 had already been announced and the public, especially residents in the area were aware of it.
“Don’t worry, it’s not EMCO or ‘lockdown’, you can still go out again to work or buy necessities. No police permit is needed for this purpose.
“Only the essential service sectors which are located in the seven zones require permit to operate with only 50 percent of its operations allowed.
“Similarly, coffee shops and restaurants are only allowed to accept take-away and dining in will be prohibited,” he reiterated.
With regard to the Phase II Covid-19 National Vaccination Programme in Sibu, he said that it will begin on April 19 – 20 and is the first district in the state to be given the early vaccine.
Dr Annuar added that it involved the elderly and at -risk group category only.