Suspend operations if outbreak occurs

Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing

KUCHING: Businesses which had positive Covid-19 cases among its employees must cease operation to cooperate with the authority to contain the outbreak, said Bintulu MP Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing.

“To delay closing businesses and stores with infected employees will only allow easier transmission of the virus. It could undermine all the hard work done to contain the pandemic in recent days,” he said.

“It is imperative that the Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) and the Health Department halt the operation of these businesses during the Chinese New Year festive seasons due to fear of heightened exposure to the coronavirus,” he said.

Tiong said while it is understandable for business owners to take advantage of the festival to garner as much profit as possible, it must also be balanced with the authorities’ need to protect the public health.

He also urged operators and their employees provide truthful information to assist the authorities in contact tracing.

“These businesses with confirmed cases must also temporarily stop and only reopen after the Health Department has verified that the risk of infection has reached a safe level.

“Let me remind all that businesses found to have intentionally concealed or withhold pertinent information relevant to the investigations may face legal action,” he said in a statement today (Feb 6).

The Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) president said accurate information is crucial as without it, it could potentially lead to a breakdown in the entire pandemic containment operation.

“If close contacts are not identified and isolated, this could allow potential carriers to infect even more people as they travel. Whole clusters could form and it would make it more difficult to contain,” he said.

Tiong hoped businesses would take it upon themselves to prioritise health over profits, given that the pandemic has claimed more than 800 lives in Malaysia.

“If our family members and friends are being sacrificed for a bit more profit, then what is the use of the extra money made?” he asked.