Staff members of childcare centre Taska Hikmah Kuching busy cleaning up their premises yesterday after the authorities gave the go-ahead to childcare centres and nurseries throughout the state to resume operations from June 9, but under a stringent standard operating procedure (SOP). Photo: Mohd Alif Noni

KUCHING: Child nurseries in Sarawak will be allowed to resume operations starting June 9 but with stringent standard operating procedure (SOP).

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas said the Ministry of Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development under Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah had already finalised the SOP.

“The ministry is going to engage all nursery operators to explain the SOP,” he said at yesterday’s daily Covid-19 update press conference of Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC).

In a press conference on May 12, Fatimah elaborated on the Sarawak Early Childhood Education Institution (IPAKK) post Covid-19 movement control order (MCO) procedure which had been prepared as a guideline for nursery and kindergarten operators, staff, and parents to ensure the safety of children under their charge.

She said that these SOP covered the roles of nursery and kindergarten operators, teachers, and parents.

In addition, operators would have to ensure that their premises are disinfected before being used.

Last Tuesday, Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced that more than 6,000 remaining nurseries and kindergartens would be permitted to resume operations immediately. Only 304 nurseries were allowed to operate prior to this directive.

Uggah, who is also SDMC chairman, said that in view of the continued reduction in Covid-19 cases in Sarawak, the SDMC was finetuning the SOP for the reopening of recreation parks, hairdressers, gymnasia, fitness centres, and photograph shops.

“This will be announced soon,” he said while expressing appreciation for the support and cooperation of all parties that complied with the government’s SOP during the Hari Raya and Gawai festivals.

He said that in the last few days, no businesses had violated the SOPs during the conditional movement control order (CMCO) period.

“There were some which did not comply earlier on, but the local authorities gave them advice and guidance. After that, the business premises followed the SOP.

“Public compliance is also high. People seem to understand and comply not because they are scared of being arrested by the police, but because they understand that this is their contribution to break the chain of transmission of Covid-19,” he said.

With regard to businesses struggling because they are not allowed to reopen, Uggah assured that the committee was already actively looking at various sectors and the relevant SOP. With the flattening of the pandemic curve, he said that more economic activities would be allowed.

He said that the government understood the challenges faced by these businesses, and he pointed out that assistance had been given to them by the state and federal governments.