BINTULU, Sept 7 — Bintulu MP Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing today urged the Bintulu Development Authority (BDA) to take immediate action against operators of rented rooms for refusing to comply with the standard operating procedures (SOPs) to curb Covid-19.
He said this should include demolishing the rented rooms where more and severe Covid-19 cases had been detected in the past few weeks.
“Without counting the previous numbers, confirmed cases yesterday and today combined involved a total of 22 shoplots where their floors were partitioned and converted into rented rooms,” Tiong said in a statement.
He blamed the spread of Covid-19 on the new tenants who have not been tested prior to moving into the rented rooms.
“This has led to many other tenants being infected with Covid-19,” he said, adding that complaints have been received from existing tenants that the operators have not been giving assurance that the rented rooms will not be turned into Covid-19 breeding grounds.
Tiong said the operators should insist that the new tenants must take reverse transcription — polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests in advance before moving into the rented rooms.
“This is the basic SOP. It is to protect the landlord, their tenants and all other future tenants, and not asking the landlords to give up their rental income,” he added.
Tiong also slammed those who leaked information on localities to be placed under enhanced movement control order (EMCO) or lockdown in Bintulu.
“To those who like to leak information on future lockdowns, whether they are the officers or media, should ask themselves what they are trying to achieve by their actions?” he asked.
“Do they want to prolong the pandemic in Bintulu or just make it harder for the frontliners to do their work?” he asked.
He said the EMCO policy is not to trap or harass any person, but it is to identify potential Covid-19 carriers and to protect the people’s health.
He said fleeing from the localities before the EMCO is enforced does not guarantee their health and protect them from infections.
“On the contrary, running away without knowing your status is only putting you and the other people around you at risk,” he added.
According to the statistics provided by the Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC), Bintulu registered 211 Covid-19 positive cases today and 158 yesterday.