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KUCHING, Jan 3 — The call for quarantine order to be fairly practised by all leaders and politicians coming into the state should not be deemed as merely ‘playing politics’, said Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii.
Dr Yii said Bintulu MP Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing had recently dismissed his call that all politicians and community leaders should observe proper quarantine procedures when travelling into the state from areas classified as red zones, such as Selangor.
“I reiterate that in Sarawak, we have one of the best advantages in terms of controlling the disease, which is our immigration autonomy where we can limit those coming in and subject them to quarantine,” he said in a statement today.
Dr Yii said that the state’s immigration autonomy would be able to reduce chances of local transmission by managing visitors travelling into the state cautiously, especially for those coming from high-risk areas.
“However, this advantage will be compromised when we start making too many exemptions even for these VVIPs.”
He pointed out that having undertaken Covid-19 swab test prior to travelling to the state does not guarantee the visitor will not be infected with the virus after the test or when the test was being done.
Dr Yii cited the example of the newly declared ‘Mador Cluster’ in the state, where a Covid-19 patient was tested negative before flying in from Kuala Lumpur but was discovered to have been infected with the virus on the eighth day of home quarantine.
“This is just one example of a case where they were tested negative when flying back, but positive after that. Does Tiong thinks that politicians do not face the same risk as everyone else from being infected as well?”
Despite Tiong claiming to have observed precautionary measures such as avoiding crowds, Dr Yii said the Bintulu MP could be clearly seen visiting public markets and rural longhouses from his public photos posted, exposing the public and the vulnerable group to unnecessary risk of infection.
“There is no reason that Tiong and the rest of state leaders cannot follow the same procedures not just to protect the people but set an example that there should not be double standards in standard operating procedures to curb the spread of an infectious disease,” said Dr Yii.
He stressed it is the responsibility for the elected people representatives to serve their constituency but more importantly is to protect the public from the risk of infection, especially when the risk of asymptomatic infection is real.
Utilising modern technology and mobilising a team to serve one’s constituency could be the alternative for the time being to reduce such risks, he says. — Borneo Post Online