Virus mutating; continuous vigilance needed

Dr Sim showing the 2021 Sarawak Day celebration poster at a press conference at Wisma Bapa Malaysia in Petra Jaya, Kuching. Photo: Mohd Alif Noni

KUCHING: The Covid-19 virus is constantly mutating, thus Sarawakians are advised to take precautions despite Sarawak entering Phase Two of the National Recovery Plan (NRP) that begins today.

Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) advisor Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian said Sarawak was able to move into the next phase due to cooperation among the public, but they must be vigilant.

“In Phase One, we focused on saving lives, and in Phase Two, it is about saving the livelihoods of the people.

“That is why we slowly open up economic activities but not social events because the Delta variant is already detected in Sarawak.

“While dining-in is allowed, this does not mean you can dine-in from 6am until 10pm with your mask down. That is not the way to help the economy run,” he said at a press conference on the Sarawak Day celebration at Wisma Bapa Malaysia here today.

He said Sarawak could manage its way through this challenging time provided Sarawakians continue to observe and adhere strictly to standard operating procedures (SOPs).

“I heard that in the Netherlands, after three weeks of opening up more sectors, they decided to stop dine-ins again. So, we want to avoid this because none of us wants to see the sectors open, closed, and reopen again.”

Commenting on the virus infection pattern, Dr Sim, who is also Local Government and Housing Minister, said for the past few weeks, those infected were mostly young people and children.

“The pattern has changed, and even now the virus infection is faster. All of this, I suspect, are variants.”

He also sought the understanding of Sarawakians returning from overseas whereby they are required to be quarantined for two weeks in Kuala Lumpur and another two weeks in Kuching.

“Once there is an outbreak, the whole of Sarawak suffers. Of course, none of us wants to spread the virus, but most of the time it is spread unknowingly.

“That is why I said we need to be careful and follow  SOPs.”