Real names matter

Accuracy of personal details key to efficient contact tracing after Miri duo given compounds for writing different names in eatery record book

KUCHING: Members of the public should not take providing accurate details at business premises lightly, said Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) chairman Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah.

He said the purpose of registering upon arrival at business premises was so that authorities had a record of visitors to enable for efficient contact tracing should the need arise.

“The strategy is to get a hold of that person as quickly as possible so that those who have been infected but were not detected early can be brought to the hospital or removed from the community so that the infection is not spread.

Uggah (right) and Leong during the press conference. – Photo by Muhd Rais Sanusi

“I must emphasise that the name and record are very important in contact tracing because one of the most important strategies in fighting Covid-19 is detecting those who have had close contact with a victim.

“If one person is positive, the infection can spread quickly,” he said in a press conference held after updating the state’s Covid-19 situation.

The deputy chief minister was responding to a question on whether or not it was an offence to register a name that did not match one’s identity card, following a case in Miri where two men were issued compounds for failing to comply with the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO) standard operating procedures (SOP).

“If you notice for some of the cases in our clusters, some are few while others are a lot. This is because of the inability to do contact tracing quickly. So that’s why, please write your (proper) name.”

He said with mobile applications such as CovidTrace, Qmunity and MySejahtera available for download, those who do not wish to write down their name can scan the QR code at business premises using these apps whereby their details will be automatically recorded.

“Because writing your name can also pose a bit of a risk, that’s why we also advise if you don’t use the app, better to bring your own pen so you don’t risk spreading the disease.

“So please, this is a very serious matter and it is not pleasant either for the police to take action against you,” Uggah said.

Meanwhile, Sarawak Criminal Investigation Department chief SAC Denis Leong when commenting on the Miri case told reporters that the purpose of registering one’s name at a public place or business premises was so that the individual could be contacted.

“When you register your name and phone contact, it is for contact tracing. When you are able to be contacted, it serves that purpose.

“In the Miri case, I am not going to comment too much but when their names were called, those two chaps did not respond. So were they using a name that they don’t even recognise themselves? That could be the reason they were issued with the compound.

“So my personal opinion is the purpose for registering your name is so you can be contacted. If you can be contacted, then it serves its purpose. Of course, if you give your name as per the MyKad, it would be best,” Leong said.

The two men were issued with compound notices on July 29 after a surveillance team visited an eatery to check on SOP compliance.

The police did a roll call of the names in the record book of the premises, and went from table to table where upon reaching one table, they asked the two men seated there if they had written down their names.

The duo said they had but were questioned as to why they did not respond during the roll call.

Further investigation revealed that the two men had not written their names as per their identity card but had used different names instead.

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