KUCHING, Oct 26 — Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) Women chief Kho Teck Wan today slammed Parti Bersatu Sarawak (PSB) and DAP leaders for accusing Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian of disclosing the occupation and location of a Covid-19 patient.
She said Dr Sim, who is also an adviser of the Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC), did not disclose the patient’s particulars.
“Dr Sim, who is a world-renowned cardiologist, is well aware of respecting any patient’s privacy and confidential information,” Kho said.
Among those who criticised Dr Sim was Bandar Kuching member of Parliament Dr Kelvin Yii in his Facebook, claiming that it was unethical for Dr Sim to state that a food operator along Carpenter Street as well as a son of a kuih seller were infected with Covid-19.
He had asserted certain information on patients should be kept confidential and must be protected.
Kho said during the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, SDMC only gave general localities of the Covid-19 patients.
However, she said she had received many calls from Sarawakians urging the government to disclose the addresses of Covid-19 patients and any locations they might have visited.
She said these calls were made to the SUPP Covid-19 operation centre where she is a volunteer.
“Personally, I think such requests from the public are very reasonable. Without the information, the public will not even know if they have been in close contact with Covid-19 patients, let alone if they should go for testing,” Kho said.
She stressed that fighting the Covid-19 outbreak requires the involvement of not only frontliners but also the whole community.
“Information is key to avoiding high-risk areas and containing the spread of Covid-19,” Kho said, adding that SDMC’s daily report now contains more details of patients’ occupations, locations and movement history.
“The ultimate goal is not to hurt businesses but to save lives and the economy by controlling the Covid-19 outbreak.
“With more information available, our community at large is participating in the fight against the outbreak together.
“I sincerely hope certain quarters will give full cooperation to the relevant authorities to perform their duties instead of criticising their efforts,” Kho said.