Learn from India, avoid crowds

Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing

BINTULU: The people here have been urged to cooperate, comply with the Covid-19 standard operating procedures (SOPs) and learn from what is happening in India.

Bintulu MP Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing today warned that the state could not afford to see more Covid-19 positive cases as the quarantine and treatment centres and hospitals now had reached full Covid-19 handling capacity.

He pointed out currently, the Bintulu Hospital’s intensive care unit (ICU) had only six beds, and 12 more were being allocated just to cope with the increasing number of severely affected Covid-19 patients.

“It has become clear that many people in Bintulu are unwilling to comply with the SOPs to prevent the spread of Covid-19. They express their anger at the inconveniences rather than sacrifice freedom for a time.

“There have been frequent complaints about traffic jams from road users who hurl abuses at the enforcement personnel manning the roadblocks. Clearly, they don’t understand the situation caused by the virus.

“Perhaps, they expect the authorities to remove all the SOPS and roadblocks and fully open up Bintulu for people to travel freely and leave the health of the people to fate? Is this the kind of situation that everyone expects?” asked Tiong.

The MP said that the road users and drivers had complained everywhere, especially on the social media. They had also angrily blamed the authorities including him.

“On this Labour Day, have they actually tried to empathise with the plight of the enforcement personnel who stand under the hot sun to enforce the SOPs to contain the pandemic and suffer abuses at the hands of selfish road users?” he said.

Tiong pointed out the SOPs were to protect everyone’s health and not to harass or inconvenience road users.

“Think broadly about the purpose of the road blocks. These are merely to control the flow of people to the urban areas and prevent crowds from forming and resulting in unfortunate cases, risking everyone’s health and safety,” he said.  

“The most reason to implement the SOPs is to curb the movements of people. Mass gatherings in India in March have caused the pandemic there to spiral out of control. We must learn from this. We must be more committed in containing our cases here.

“By not limiting the flow of people into urban areas, India is now not only finding it difficult to have enough hospital beds but also difficult to find enough crematoriums for the victims. Do we want to allow this to happen here?

“Remember the coronavirus is spread through close contacts. If we do not control the flow of people now, we may not even have enough space at the cemeteries,” he pointed out.

Tiong said that Bintulu had seen a high number of cases and it was time for people to be more cautious and time for more stringent controls to stop the spread of the disease.