Lockdown order won’t be given in advance

Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing

KUCHING: Any imposition of lockdown orders at localities in Bintulu will be done immediately without prior notice.

Bintulu Member of Parliament Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing said this is to prevent people from fleeing the affected area which could frustrate the fight to break the chain of Covid-19 infection.

“Doing so would allow residents who are unwilling to be quarantined for 14 days to potentially spread the coronavirus if they are indeed infected.

“Case in point, there was a confirmed case in one longhouse who was admitted to hospital but before the authorities could place the quarantine order on the longhouse, all the residents had disappeared, and not a single soul left in the area.

“Areas that require immediate lockdown are those found to have extremely high numbers of confirmed cases,” he said in a statement yesterday.

Tiong said Sg Plan in Bintulu for instance, which had been locked down for several days had nearly 30 confirmed cases detected as of Thursday (May 27) including one death.

“All of these confirmed cases were asymptomatic patients. It is really difficult to imagine how many people would be infected if such people freely walked about?

“Therefore to prevent the pandemic from spreading further, a complete lockdown is the most effective measure in curbing cases,” he said.

The MP said while Sg Plan had been locked down, the authorities still detected a family trying to escape via jalan tikus (rat trails), which are mostly unknown paths.

“This resulted in making the early notice strategy of announcing lockdowns unworkable and ineffective. I want to call on all residents to give their full cooperation for the sake of everyone’s health. It is not a game,” he said.

Tiong said the original intention of the Bintulu Disaster Management Committee is not to arrest anyone but to identify potential crises in the community and eradicate the problem.

“In all honesty, we could completely allow the people to choose how they want to deal with the pandemic. The personnel combating the pandemic can only do so much to protect our precious lives but they continue to do so out of duty and dedication”.