Covid-19: Sarawak wants to see SOPs before signing onto Putrajaya’s ‘total lockdown’

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Sarawak has already put in place the movement control order (MCO), which will run from tomorrow to June 11 to curb rising Covid-19 infections. ― Picture by Hari Anggara
Sarawak has already put in place the movement control order (MCO), which will run from tomorrow to June 11 to curb rising Covid-19 infections. ― Picture by Hari Anggara

KUCHING, May 28 — Sarawak will study the National Security Council’s standard operating procedures (SOPs) for the “total lockdown” the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) announced tonight before deciding if it will adopt it, Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah said.

Asked if the announcement is applicable to Sarawak since it is imposing a two-week movement control order (MCO) starting tomorrow, he told Malay Mail: “We will study their SOP first.”

Sarawak has already put in place the movement control order (MCO), which will run from tomorrow to June 11 to curb rising Covid-19 infections.

Unlike the total lockdown announced by PMO, Sarawak does not prohibit almost economic activities.

The public transport system is also allowed to operate but under certain restrictions.

However, most of the tourism and sports activities are banned under the state-imposed MCO.

The PMO in a statement said all social and economic activities are prohibited during the total lockdown from June 1 to 14.

During the two-week period, only essential economic and service sectors may operate, with the NSC to list these later.

The PMO said the decision was necessitated by Malaysia’s deteriorating Covid-19 situation.

“If this Phase One lockdown succeeds in reducing daily Covid-19 cases, the government will proceed to Phase Two that will allow the reopening of economic sectors that do not involve mass gatherings and where physical distancing can be maintained,” the PMO said in a statement.

Phase Two, when it begins, will run for four weeks before the country enters into Phase Three, which would be a return to the current movement control order (MCO) where almost all economic sectors may operate with restrictions but not social activities.

The PMO said the decision to move between phases would depend on the Health Ministry’s risk assessment based on new Covid-19 cases and the ability of the country’s public health system to treat the infected.

“Following the government’s decision to initiate a full closure of the economic sector and social activities, the Finance Ministry will draw up an assistance package for Malaysians and the economic sectors affected,” the PMO said.

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