KUCHING: Village Development and Security Committees (JKKKs) and village chieftains are to play a vital role in monitoring the approaching Gawai celebration and to remind the rural folk to prioritise community immunity to combat Covid-19 infections, especially during the festive season.
Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) Youth chief Datuk Snowdan Lawan said this today (April 30) when commenting on the upcoming Gawai celebration and the concerning high number of Covid-19 cases at this time.
He noted that some form of celebration or merry-making happened in longhouses during Gawai.
“Monitor the situation and do not overdo it at the expense of your community immunity.
“Do stay alert towards any announcements from time to time by our Sarawak Disaster Management Community (SDMC) for standard operating procedure (SOP) updates as well as the dos and don’ts. Adhere to these accordingly,” he urged.
He suggested that it may be a good idea to confine ‘ngabang’ (house-to-house visiting) during the eve or family reunion.
“Those residing in cities or towns which are red zones should refrain from going back (to the rural areas) until next season because Covid-19 knows no limits and prospers in large gatherings,” he said.
He also said cultural activities such as ‘miring’ and ‘besundang niti ruai’ should be postponed for now as they may provide room for Covid-19 to multiply and spread.
“But if these mandatory rituals associated with the festival need to be carried out anyway due to beliefs or omens, do practise it in the new norm by wearing face masks, applying social distancing, and washing your hands thereafter,” he advised.
Snowdan, who is also assistant minister of Youth and Sports and Balai Ringin assemblyman, said practices such as common sharing of cups should be avoided, if not eliminated, for health reasons.
“Be health conscious and comply with the recommended SOP. The SOP has noble intentions and is meant to protect us all,” he emphasised.