KUCHING: What was just another day at work yesterday had turned into quite an unusual and interesting experience for members of the media.
An event held at a local hotel here was notably different from usual as it was more sombre and less crowded, consisting of only ministers, a few delegates, organising committees, and journalists. Fewer than 50 people attended the event.
First thing that came to mind for most was that it must be due to the Covid-19 situation in the state, with the government calling for precautionary steps to be taken.
Hand sanitizers were appropriately placed at the counters with ushers ready to squirt the substance onto the palms of attendees to maintain proper hygiene. The seats were arranged at least one metre apart to maintain social distancing.
The overall experience was odd. Nonetheless, it was still a welcomed change.
For a videographer for a local daily, Roystein Emmor, 38, he said the preparations made by the organisers made him feel safe amidst the outbreak scare.
“When I arrived, I saw that the chairs were arranged far apart from one another and there were very few people. Less than 50, I think.
“As the frontliners and due to the nature of our job, we are quite exposed and vulnerable to the virus as we have to be in the presence of a crowd most of the time. But seeing how the organisers have taken preventive methods to cope with the situation, I felt much safer than I would usually do,” he said.
Online news reporter Koh Jia Lim, 36, said she was glad to see measures being taken by the organisers to ensure the health and safety of attendees and the media in particular.
“The distance between the seats was enough to make me feel at ease and without worry of the risk of contracting the virus from people nearby,” she said.
Koh added that she was also pleased to see people taking the advice and guidance from the Chief Minister and Prime Minister to mitigate the spread of Covid-19.
She expressed hope to see the precautionary steps being taken continuously.
Meanwhile, Asfarina Ismaili, 30, a news correspondent from a broadcasting agency, said the steps taken were enough to alleviate risk of being infected by Covid-19.
“Personally for me this is one of the simplest yet most effective ways to prevent the spread of Covid-19 as it is difficult to identify carriers of the virus.
“This is the first time for me to see such measures being taken since the outbreak of Covid-19. Prevention is always better than cure,” she said.
Overall, members of the media were pleased to know that their safety is being prioritised.