BETONG: Rural village and longhouse chiefs have been urged to register all outsiders attending any gathering such as wedding receptions or funerals in their areas.
Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah said he agreed with such suggestion made by Layar assemblyman Gerald Rentap Jabu in view of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We always have large crowds at either event where there are people who come from outside and others from neighbouring longhouses or villages.
“Physical distancing can be hard to implement and if any of the visitors are infected with the sickness, it can spread fast so we need to be proactive as the pandemic is still with us,” he said at the launch of a Village Security and Development Committee (JKKK) Kepolisan Community workshop here.
Uggah who is also chairman of the State Disaster Management Committee said by registering the visitors and their contact numbers, it would make contact tracing easy should the need arise.
“This is part of the standard operating procedures (SOP) practised in cities and towns.
“It has proven to be very useful when the medical department needs to engage with all those who have come in contact with persons who had Covid-19,” he added.
He said it was also one of the strategies to stop further transmission and advised rural folks to continue observing all SOPs and guidelines to protect themselves.
“Longhouse and village chiefs should direct their respective JKKK to monitor the compliance as they are the first line of defence in such areas.
“Thus this workshop is very timely to teach them what to do not only in the fight against Covid-19 but diseases like rabies, dengue and other modern ills like fake news in the social media.
“Everyone must give their full commitment,” he urged.
Uggah said the fact that Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had announced the extension of the recovery movement control order (RMCO) nationwide until the end of the year indicated the government was still taking very serious view of the pandemic.
“We have not won the war so we must continue fighting as the disease is still with us,” he explained.
In another development he said 23 similar workshops would be held until the middle of September for 660 JKKKs from the various districts and sub-districts in the division that would involve some 3,300 participants.
Also present were Rentap, Beting Maro assemblyman Razali Gapor , Saribas assemblyman Mohammad Razi Sitam and Betong Division Resident Friday Belik.