We want to avoid being stigmatised

Jonathan Chai Voon Tok

KUCHING: Sarawak Business Federation secretary-general Jonathan Chai Voon Tok has appealed to the Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) to clarify the purpose of publishing the list of locations visited by confirmed Covid-19 cases.

He said this was to avoid any unwanted stigmatisation and prejudice towards the affected business premises.

“SDMC should highlight and make it clear to the public that the publication only serves to inform the public that the infectious Covid-19 individuals visited the particular premises during the specified period, and that any person who has visited those premises during that time should undergo a swab test.

“Most importantly, assurance should also be given to the public that the necessary remedial actions including contact tracing have been taken and that those premises have been disinfected and sanitised,” he said in a statement today.

Having said this, he said he understood the good intentions of SDMC in releasing such information.

He noted that it was in the public’s interest for SDMC to release and publicise the date, time, and location of places visited by confirmed Covid-19 cases beginning Jan 6 as the committee ramped up its efforts to contain the spread of the virus in the state.

“It is just that the premises concerned would be accorded with unwanted stigma and prejudice, which would send a wrong message to the public that these places are unsafe.

“Consequently, the affected business operators would suffer unnecessarily and their hardship would be exacerbated in this challenging economy,” said Chai, who is also Kuching Chinese General Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCGCCI) secretary-general.

He said his appeal was at the request of many business operators, particularly coffee shop operators.