Wong (seated second left) with members of SUPP Dudong branch at a press conference.

SIBU: Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) Sibu has suggested that the state government set up diagnostic test centres throughout the state to combat the spread of Covid-19.

Chairman Dr Wong Chya Wei told a press conference yesterday said according to the State Disaster Management Committee, Sarawak was facing its biggest potential pandemic ever.

“We are of the view that more stringent measures must be taken to ensure that Covid-19 will be better controlled and contained,” he said.

“Without testing, we have no idea how extensive the infection is and who should be isolated. According to statistic of infection, 1% of the population will be affected by the virus. Sarawak has a 3 million population, so based on the current trend of infection that would be 30,000 people or the whole of Sibujaya population,” he said.

The setting up of diagnostic test centres throughout the state was one of the four proposals put forward by MMA to combat the spread of Covid-19.

Wong also suggested all religious gatherings or worship be suspended for a period of 30 days instead of just postponing all government and public gathering involving more than 250 participants as had been ordered by the state government.

For its third proposal, the association suggested that West Malaysians be prohibited from entering the state for a period of 30 days due to the high number of cases there.

“Sarawakians who return to the state must undergo a 14-day supervised quarantine and subject to random testing,” he said.

Wong said all schools must be closed for a period of 30 days.

“We are lucky that there will be school holidays this coming week but if the infection continues to worsen, the state government should extend the closure of schools,” he added.

Wong suggested all these proposals be implemented as the number of cases continued to rise in the country.

As at 10pm on March 12, Malaysia reported 197 confirmed cases of Covid-19 infection.

“We expect this figure to continue rising, especially after it was revealed yesterday that 14,500 Malaysians attended a missionary convention at Masjid Jamek Sri Petaling from Feb 27 to March 1,” added Wong.

“To bring the outbreaks under control, very aggressive measures must be taken effectively,” he said.

Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) Dudong chairman Wong Ching Yong called on young doctors in the country to emulate their counterparts in China who volunteered to serve in hospitals crowded with Corvid-19 patients.

“When a lockdown was declared in Wuhan, these young doctors volunteered to serve in droves. We hope the spirit of the young Chinese doctors will be emulated by all in the medical profession in the country,” he added.