Stricter SOPs for Bintulu unavoidable

Dr Rundi chairs a meeting of Bintulu DDMC.

KUCHING: The anti-pandemic standard operating procedures (SOPs) in Bintulu division will be tightened, said Utilities Minister Datuk Seri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom.

“I empathise with anyone who feels the SOPs are a burden. We are not imposing the SOPs willy-nilly as they are for the good of the community.

“The Bintulu Divisional Disaster Management Committee (DDMC) has the task of ensuring the safety of Bintulu people from the pandemic,” he said on Tuesday (April 13).

Dr Rundi said that if the spread of Covid-19 is not curbed, the pandemic will get worse.

He said the SOPs specially tailored for Bintulu began today (April 14) and will last until 27.

As for Covid-19 tests required for inter-district travels, he said they are still maintained.

The Kemena assemblyman explained that the SOPs are based on the state’s guidelines and fine-tuned according to needs.

“We use the SOPs according to what is implemented for the state.

“However, given the deteriorating situation in Bintulu, we have to modify them to suit the situation,” he said.

Currently, limited health resources in the division such as manpower, intensive care units (ICUs), quarantine centres and low-risk treatment (PKRC) can complicate matters.

In the meantime, Bintulu DDMC has held discussions with the Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) regarding school operations.

“We suggest that rural schools be allowed to carry out face-to-face teaching-learning sessions.

“However, for schools in the city, we recommend to the state education director to continue online learning classes,” he said.