Total lockdown not solution

Voon Shiak Ni
Voon Shiak Ni

KUCHING: Social activist, Voon Shiak Ni agreed that a total lockdown of Sarawak is not a solution to battle the spread of the Covid-19 Delta variant.

She pointed out that countries around the world were moving away from the total lockdown measure as this measure would not be able to rid any country of the Delta variant.

“Most Asian countries which managed to contain the pandemic successfully during the first and second waves are now badly hit by the surge of infections driven by the Delta variant — for instance, Vietnam, Philippines, Thailand, Brunei, and Singapore.

“We all know that the virus is not going away so soon,” she said in a statement on Saturday (Sept 11).

She cited Australia as an example which showed that the lockdown measure was not as effective anymore in stopping the spread of the Delta variant. 

“The lockdown measure in Australia was successful before the arrival of the Delta variant.

“However, it was reported in August that the total lockdown order in Sydney had not managed to flatten the curve of the infections in the city and Covid-19 infections continue to climb even after two months of isolating the city from other regions,” she said.

Voon supported the recent statement by Associated Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sarawak (ACCCIS) secretary-general, Jonathan Chai that a complete lockdown might not be a viable solution to curb the spike of Covid-19 positive cases in Sarawak.

“The Delta variant is very infectious and it is already in the community, and thus a total lockdown today will not serve much difference but will instead aggravate the impact on the already weakened economy due to the crisis of the pandemic,” she said.

She said it was fortunate the vaccination roll-out for Sarawak started ahead of the arrival of the Delta variant and that a sufficient percentage of Sarawakians had been vaccinated before the Delta variant dominated infections.

She applauded the government’s efforts in expediting the vaccination roll-out.

“We expect that the all the economic sectors will be opened soon and we need to be mentally prepared to live with the virus and to restart the economy as some sectors of the economy have been closed for months until today,” she said.

She stressed that living with the virus did not mean doing away with compliance with standard operating procedures (SOPs), adding that people were advised to continue wearing their face masks and to self-regulate themselves.

“I was given to understand that measures will be taken by the Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) to detect the possibility of any new variant, though mass testing will be discontinued when we move to the endemic phase,” added Voon.