Relaxation of MCO during festive season ill-advised


KUCHING: Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii has warned the federal and state governments against prematurely relaxing movement control order (MCO) restrictions to accommodate the upcoming festive season.

He said the advice of Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah should be taken seriously to prevent anymore transmission of Covid-19 in red zones, derailing the efforts taken to contain the pandemic in the past month.

“While I understand the economic consideration for this decision, especially in view of the Ramadan celebration, I believe that such decision was made hastily without proper consideration of the risks involved,” he said.

He was responding to the State Disaster Management Committee’s (SDMC) decision to extend the operating hours of food stalls to 10pm.

Dr Yii said the decision also effectively opened people’s homes to outsiders, who could be carriers of the virus without knowing it, especially for asymptomatic patients.

“This may also encourage loitering outside or unnecessary travel late at night even though we are still not out of the woods yet.

“Currently the cases, especially in Kuching, are still high and our death rate and other statistics are still worrying,” he wrote on his Facebook yesterday.

He also stressed that only until the spread of Covid-19 had been effectively curbed and only then the authorities could discuss on an exit strategy or plans to relax MCO restrictions.

“This will help minimise the risk of a second wave of infections that is currently overwhelming Singapore and even Japan.

“That is why I urge the state government to reconsider this directive. It is premature to call for relaxation or an end to the MCO, especially in the red areas all around our country,” he said.