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Aspirasi questions State Disaster Management Committee’s ability to handle Covid-19 pandemic

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Lina Soo

KUCHING (April 26): The Sarawak People’s Aspiration Party (Aspirasi) has questioned the State Disaster Management Committee’s (SDMC) ability to manage the Covid-19 pandemic.

Aspirasi president Lina Soo opined handling of the pandemic should be left to experts equipped with knowledge, competence, and professionalism, instead of politicians.

“Infection would not have been so widespread if SMDC had been vigilant and consistent in its standard operating procedures (SOPs). Potential super-spreaders had been allowed to slip through to infect construction sites, funerals, social events, and workplaces,” she claimed in a statement.

She claimed SDMC had committed blunders and omissions, which aided the spread of Covid-19 throughout communities and longhouses all over state, affecting almost all districts and even remote areas.

“The number of Covid-19 cases amongst healthcare workers was alarming, indicating lack of personal protective equipment (PPEs) at hospitals. Police trainees who are trained to protect the people cannot even protect themselves against Covid-19 within the group. Covid-19 spreading through our schools is appalling,” she said.

According to her, teachers face hundreds of students but are not on the priority list for vaccination.

She also claimed exemption from 14-day quarantine for those staying a maximum of three days and two nights was hastily put in place to please privileged groups.

“Also, SMDC cannot even get the naming of clusters and locations right. It has become a messy business where SMDC advisor Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian once proudly announced publishing locations is the power of SMDC, yet laying the blame upon the federal Ministry of Health when there are errors in names and locations,” she alleged.

According to Soo, the chaotic business of cluster names and locations had resulted in neighbouring shops, which were unexposed to Covid-19, to be avoided by the public.

“One example is Aiman Mall, which is a standalone shopping complex at Samarahan; yet KFC, Curry House, and Taka at adjacent shops were shown to be located at Aiman Mall causing adverse impact upon the mall.

“Same as the SWAG cluster aka Icom cluster, which happened in one workplace resulted in businesses at Icom Pending suffering drastic drops in their sales,” she said.

Soo claimed some Covid-19 test results would only be available on the third day after testing, potentially causing further infection to others.

“With conflicting policies and information which are not timely and consistently inconsistent, the public are bewildered and confused at a time when they are looking to the government for comfort and leadership,” she added.