Dr Kelvin Yii
KUCHING (April 28): The State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) should take the lead by introducing a clear and specific “alert level system” to replace the current “confusing system” so that there is better public compliance to curb the spread of Covid-19, said Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii.
He noted that the issue with the current system where different “fancy names” are being used is that each Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) differs from another during different periods and even districts.
“The current CMCO in Kuching is different from the CMCO in Miri, Bintulu or even Sibu. (In fact), the CMCO introduced now is also different from the CMCO introduced last year, but all of it shares the same name.
“In comparison, an ‘alert level system’ is clear and specific where clear SOP are designated for each level, for example Level 1, Level 2, and so forth. When each Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) is set for each level, all the government needs to announce is which level we are at for each district. So, all the public needs to do is to check the SOP for each level and follow it accordingly,” he said in a statement.
Dr Yii pointed out that such categorisation of levels will then be based on specific parameters including transmission rates, positive rates, hospital pressures and deaths.
“The government then can decide on these scientific measures to categories each district or even sub-district based on such granular data and then properly inform the public,” he said.
Dr Yii said that is why the government cannot continue to blame the public for not complying with SOP if the SOP itself is so confusing.
He made the observation following SDMC’s decision to extend the current CMCO in Sarawak to May 17 and their update of the SOP for the different districts.
“While I support such a move especially with the high cases and even positive rate in Sarawak, but the ever-changing SOP and conflicting SOP between districts are causing a lot of confusion among the public and even business owners.
“I have been receiving all kinds of feedback from them and many are more confused when they read the updated SOP. Many of them want to follow the required SOP and are diligently following it since the beginning but would want more certainty and clarity,” he said.
Dr Yii opined that while enforcement should also be increased to help the public comply with the required SOP, it must also be educational in spirit, and not punitive.
He said this has been something that he has been pushing since last year in Parliament.
“While it is better if the whole nation adopts a clearer and more specific ‘alert level system’, but if not, I propose that SDMC can take the lead by implementing a better system by asserting Sarawak’s autonomy in Public Health Management, under Schedule 9 of Federal Constitution where public health is listed on the concurrent list which means joint responsibility between the federal and the state,” he added.