Tuesday, September 26

‘ACS will work closely with Unifor, SDMC in fight against Covid-19’


Archbishop Simon Poh

KUCHING: The Association of Churches in Sarawak (ACS) will work closely with Unit for Other Religions (Unifor) and the Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) on the next plan of action under the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO).

ACS chairman Archbishop Simon Poh said there needs to be a concerted effort to work closely with other religious bodies in Sarawak to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.

“On the schedule for the opening of churches, we are currently working closely with Unifor for common guidelines to be implemented. And we will only follow the directives issued by SDMC which is monitoring the local situation on the ground in the state.

“Working together in a concerted effort with all spiritual leaders of the various faith in Sarawak, we are confident that together, we can contain and eradicate Covid-19 in Sarawak,” he said in a statement issued here.

He also said ACS and the churches in Sarawak welcome the less restrictive RMCO as the nation recovers from the last three months.

“Ultimately the aim of RMCO is to prevent any further outbreak and especially the second wave of infection. As such, the social distancing and health precautions have continued to be strictly maintained and adhered to as more sectors of business and offices are being opened,” he pointed out.

Under RMCO, he advised the Christian community in Sarawak not to be complacent against the deadly coronavirus.

“At this juncture, immediately after the initial first wave of Covid-19 lockdown, people are relieved that we are now free to move about between districts and states.

“But, in order not to contribute to a new second wave, each person will need to remain vigilant by maintaining social distancing and practise personal safety and hygiene in hand washing, avoiding touching face and wearing masks in public places,” he said.

The archbishop also hoped that ACS member churches would continue to advocate for prudence and proceed cautiously with a possible spike of Covid-19 positive cases on June 15.

“As I had calculated earlier, I am basing my consideration by counting 14-day as the average cycle of Covid-19. Thus, with the recent Raya and Gawai celebrations on May 25 and June 1 respectively, we acknowledge that there have been more social interactions.

“Any gatherings where there are bigger numbers of persons are potential for a new outbreak, even when just one person is Covid-19 positive. Furthermore, recent reports have attested to many asymptomatic persons who are Covid-19 positive.

“Accordingly, I would like to advocate caution and prudence by waiting for 15th June for further statistics to be seen. Above all, churches will wait for guidelines from SDMC, before any decision for opening the churches for gathering is made,” he added.