Too risky to allow barbershops, salons to reopen so soon, Sarawak minister says

Sarawak minister Datuk Sri Fatimah Abdullah today cautioned against allowing barbershops, hair salons and laundry service to reopen for business in Sarawak during the extended movement control order . — Picture by Sulok Tawie
Sarawak minister Datuk Sri Fatimah Abdullah today cautioned against allowing barbershops, hair salons and laundry service to reopen for business in Sarawak during the extended movement control order . — Picture by Sulok Tawie

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KUCHING, April 11 — Sarawak minister Datuk Sri Fatimah Abdullah today cautioned against allowing barbershops, hair salons and laundry service to reopen for business in Sarawak during the extended movement control order (MCO).

The State Minister of Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development said now is not the time to loosen things up yet.

“People are already getting used to social distancing and accepting the inconveniences for the sake of their dear lives.

“Haircut can be done at home, otherwise it can wait, while laundry work can be shared among family members at home,” she said, when commenting on Putrajaya’s decision to allow barbershops, hair salons and laundry service to reopen for business during phase three of MCO.

Early today, Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) has decided that a study would be made whether to allow certain business sectors, such as barbershop, hair salons and laundry service to operate during the extended MCO in Sarawak.

Fatimah said to allow such outlets to operate in Sarawak would mean that all the hard work and long hours put in by the medical workers, strict enforcement by the frontliners to contain the transmission of Covid-19, huge budget incurred by the state government to mitigate the spread of the disease, will down the drain.

“We will be back to square one,” she lamented.

Fatimah said the extension of MCO is inevitable, though it restricts the people’s movement, such as making life inconvenient, creating anxiety, bringing hardship and pain due to loss of income.

“The general public has accepted it as inevitable so much so that some even question the decision and rationale to allow barbershops and hair salons, a business that involves close contact, with client removing face masks, sharing seats, combs, scissors, and all the paraphernalia, to reopen for business so soon.

“It is risky,” she stressed.

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