More sensible alert systems needed

Dr Kelvin Yii

KUCHING: The confusing names for the movement restrictions currently in use should be replaced by terms that make more sense, opined Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii.

He said the Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) should take the lead to introduce a clear and specific ‘alert system’.

“This is to replace the current confusing MCO, CMCO, RMCO and Emco system to ensure better public compliance to break the spread of Covid-19,” he said in a Facebook post.

He was commenting on the updated standard operating procedures (SOPs) by SDMC while extending the current conditional movement control order (CMCO) to May 17.

“While I support such a move especially with the high cases and even positive rate in Sarawak, the ever-changing SOPs are causing confusion among the public and even business owners.

“Many of them wants to follow the required SOP and are diligently following it since the beginning but would want more clarity,” he said.

The MP said the government cannot continue to blame the public for not complying with SOPs if it is confusing.

Dr Yii said the revamped alert system can be pioneered by SDMC by asserting Sarawak’s autonomy in Public Health management, under Schedule 9 of Federal Constitution.

“This is where Public Health is listed on the concurrent list which means joint responsibility between the federal and the state,” he said.

He said using new system, clear SOPs are designated for each level with the government only needing to announce which the area it is in.

“So, all the public need to do is to check the SOP in each level and follow it accordingly,” he said.

Dr Yii said the category of levels will then be based on specific parameters including transmission rates, positive rates, hospital pressures and deaths.

“With this, there will be less confusion and conflicting SOPs which will result in better compliance.

“Enforcement should also be increased to help the public comply with the required SOPs but it must be educational in spirit and not punitive”.