KUCHING: With the Chinese New Year (CNY) just a week away, Sarawakians have been reminded to take extra care to ensure a safe celebration.
Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian said it was important to be vigilant in view of the presence of the Covid-19 variant Omicron.
“With many coming back from Singapore and Peninsular Malaysia, I urge everyone to take extra precaution and make sure we don’t bring Omicron back to Sarawak and pass it to your immediate family members.”
He was speaking to the media after the annual Chinese New Year (CNY) tradition of lighting the iconic White Cat statue in Padungan here on Monday (Jan 24).
“Those coming back from Singapore, I understand that it is always stressful wanting to come back to see your family after so long not meeting, but currently Singapore has been reporting more than 1,000 cases daily and most of them are Omicron cases.
“It is the right thing to do to come back and see your parents, but most importantly see them safely.”
On another note, he said the Covid-19 infections in Sarawak were low and this was thanks to the public complying with the standard operating procedure (SOP) guidelines as well as self-testing.
“Previously we did PCR tests and now we are self-testing, so the central agency does not capture the data unless the person’s situation worsened.
“This is not that we are hiding anything, but this is part of living with the virus.”
Dr Sim, who is also Minister for Public Health, Housing and Local Government, also said high-risk individuals were more at risk of being hospitalised if they catch the Omicron variant.
“Nevertheless, we hope that the cases and death rate in Sarawak remain low so that we can have a safe CNY.”
Meanwhile, Kuching City South mayor Datuk Wee Hong Seng also called upon the public to take extra care.
“Also, be very cautious when you are out shopping.”
He expressed hope that the pandemic would be over by next year so that the council could organise more CNY bazaars.
“We feel very bad because we have received 180 applications to open up stalls at the CNY bazaar in Kenyalang Park, but due to SOP compliance, the number of stalls had to be reduced.”