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Hearing the change of Sarawak Covid-19 SOP (standard Operating Procedure) is not something new.
However, it seems the Sarawak government is going all out this time around to ensure SOPs and the Movement Control Order (MCO) is followed for the Gawai Dayak.
This likely comes as a sudden spike in Covid-19 cases throughout Sarawak, particularly in Kuching, has been reported after the Hari Raya celebrations.
Malaysia has already announced a lockdown from 1 June, but despite the name, it is nothing compared to what Sarawak is enforcing under it’s very own MCO.
Malaysia Lockdown vs Sarawak MCO
The argument online by some, most notably those across the South China Sea, is that Sarawak is not doing enough to curb Covid-19.
This perception comes as Malaysia enforced MCO, while Sarawak retained it’s Conditional MCO.
The perception that Sarawak wasn’t doing much to curtail COvid-19 infections was further raised by some when Sarawak enforced the MCO last 29 May, while Malaysia decided to go into a full lock down from 1 June.
Many however fail to realize that the SOPs under Sarawak’s MCO is tighter despite it’s name and the visual below (taken from the Sarawak Covid-10 Awareness Group) compares both the Sarawak Covid-19 MCO SOPs versus the Malaysia’s Covid-19 lockdown SOPs.
Sarawak Covid-19 SOP introduces more restrictions and extends MCO
For Sarawak, things got even more tighter today, 31 May.
The Sarawak government today decided to further restrict movement under the current MCO which will now only end on 14 June 2021. It was previously supposed to end on 11 June. The new date means both Malaysia’s Lockdown and Sarawak MCO will end at the same day.
Under the new SOPs, the Sarawak MCO SOPs will abandon the use of zones which was previously deployed during the CMCO. The new SOPs now limits movement within the same district which means travel within Kuching Division alone is now more difficult.
To ensure travel restrictions are followed, roadblocks have been set-up along strategic places.
Adding to that is further restrictions of the list of businesses unable / able to open, and the limitation of only two passengers per vehicle.
Regardless of the SOPs and also name of the current SOPs, the spike in Covid-19 in Malaysia in general is worrying.
Hospitals are now reporting inadequate capabilities to admit new patients and the situation is made worst by the emergence of new Covid-19 clusters on a daily basis.
That said, it is imperative for the community to help bring down the number of infections by doing their part.
‘Their part’ is not arguing about who has the tighter SOPs, but instead by actually following all the SOPs which are already in place.