Sarawak Dayak National Union (SDNU) Sibu branch chairman Chambai Lindong said the sudden increase in the number of COVID-19 positive cases from the Pasai Cluster showed that many have let their guard down as Sibu was a green zone all these while.
“Many have thought COVID-19 only occurred in the Peninsula and Sabah, feeling quite safe, but the fact is the virus is everywhere around us,” he said and adding that it was very unfortunate that 19 longhouses in Pasai Siong have been placed under lockdown due to the spread of COVID-19 infection.
He told Bernama that home quarantine is not a very good idea, not only at the longhouses but also at any individual houses and should be stopped immediately.
“Quarantine means you have to lock yourself up in the room but many do not have the discipline and tend to fall into temptation of mingling around with others. Hence, home quarantine must be stopped,” he stressed.
Chambai said having another Movement Control Order (MCO) would not be good for the economy where many people will suffer.
“Now with the ‘tamu’ (weekly) market is closed, nobody can sell their vegetables. If MCO is implemented, many could not go to work and lose their source of income. During MCO last year, many left without income to buy food to feed their family and had to rely on assistance from the authority. This is something we cannot afford to have,” he said.
Despite the spike in the number of cases, Chambai believed that the figures could be brought down if everyone played their part responsibly to fight COVID-19.
On the current situation in Sibu and the adjacent towns, he said people were really scared as they have come to realisation that the virus was everywhere.
He also urged members of Dayak community working or studying outside of Sarawak to refrain from returning to their home town for the time being.
For those residing in the state, he advised them to adhere to the standard operating procedures (SOPs) set by the government such as to wear a face mask, maintain physical distancing and refrain from holding or attending any gatherings.