Vital steps needed instead of MCO

Datuk Dr Madeline Berma

KUCHING: The Sarawak government is advised not to implement the movement control order (MCO) despite the worrying Covid-19 situation.

Datuk Dr Madeline Berma, the Sarawak commissioner of the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam), said important steps needed to be taken instead of imposing MCO.

“For example, an area in a district that has high Covid-19 transmission, the lockdown should not be implemented in the whole district but instead implement MCO or lockdown at the affected area only.”

She added that even though MCO was the best and effective measure to break the chain, it was not entirely relevant as it affected the economy and the livelihood of the people.

Thus, Madeline said the implementation of targeted MCO in areas or districts affected would provide space for the community in other districts to go on with their lives and conduct economic activities.

“There must be a balance between ensuring the transmission of Covid-19 can be prevented and for the economy to run.

“A situation that sacrifices the economy cannot be allowed because the two are interconnected and interdependent.

“We must take care of the people’s health and at the same time take care of the economy,” the economic analyst said.

The Ministry of Health recently suggested that MCO be implemented in states that have a high number of cases to break the transmission chain.

The states included Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Johor, Kedah and Sarawak.

However, Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas responded by saying Sarawak would not implement MCO.

Uggah, who is also Sarawak Disaster Management Committee chairman, added that Sarawak remained under conditional MCO.