KUCHING: Most of the general public agree that the extension of the movement control order (MCO) from June 15 to 28 is a necessary measure to curb Covid-19 infections and flatten the curve.
However, a number of people have lamented the severe impact of the MCO on small businesses and expressed concern that a prolonged lockdown will result in the closing down of more businesses.
Meanwhile, others are of the view that stricter restrictions or enforcement efforts are needed to ensure the lockdown’s effectiveness.
The MCO was initially scheduled to end on June 14, but Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob on Friday announced that it would continue for another two weeks effective from June 15 to 28.
Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) chairman Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas then confirmed that Sarawak would follow suit in line with the federal government’s decision on the MCO extension.
Most people met by New Sarawak Tribune lauded the move.
LORNA PHANG, (Freelancer)
Extending the MCO will help to reduce the number of cases if there are clear guidelines for the public and enforcement authorities to follow. Relaxing restrictions too early when we see a dip in the number of cases should not happen.
LEANDRO MCRAE, (Admin executive)
It is indeed necessary and a really good move to extend the MCO as the number of positive cases in Sarawak is still between 400 and 700 per day. Tighter restrictions and enforcement efforts are indeed required to ensure that the people are following the standard operating procedures (SOPs); there is no point of having the SOPs if people take them lightly and some don’t even follow them at all.
BRANDON CHEW, (Real estate negotiator)
Further extension of the MCO is unavoidable. In order to reduce the number of infections, the government should speed up the vaccination process. Then they can allow certain sectors to open up slowly.
IZUWAN RABAIE, (Owner of Thirst Milkshake)
The extension of the MCO greatly impacts small businesses like us. Further extension might cause some businesses to close down. It’s not about the restrictions; it’s about the individuals. They are not in this together in bringing the number of cases down. People are still selfish.
LISA IKRAM, (Corporate communications officer)
I am still hoping that our government will tighten the enforcement a lot more like in the initial MCO. Some industries are still working full force during the current MCO, which makes it impossible for our hundreds of daily cases to go down faster. This will definitely affect the economy, but what is more important now is our collective safety.
NUR HAZIQAH JASMANI, (Communications graduate)
It is necessary to extend the MCO because the number of Covid-19 cases daily is still high and our vaccination rate is still low. This MCO extension will be even more effective if tighter restrictions are imposed, especially around non-essential industries.