KUCHING: Longhouse chiefs and village heads in rural areas are urged to register all outsiders attending weddings or funerals at their respective longhouses and villages.
Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas said that he agreed with the suggestion made by Layar assemblyman Gerald Rentap Jabu, in view of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We always have large crowds at either event. Some come from outside, others from neighbouring longhouses or villages.
“Physical distancing can be hard to implement and if any of the visitors are infected or have the disease, it can spread fast. So we need to be proactive as the pandemic is still with us,” he said at the launching of the Community Police Workshop for village security and development committees in Betong Division today.
Uggah. who is also the State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) chairman, added that registering the visitors and their contact numbers would make contact tracing easier should the need arise.
“This is part of the standard operation procedures (SOP) practised in cities and towns.
“It has proven to be very useful when the Health Department needs to engage with all those who have come into contact with Covid-19 positive persons,” he said.
Uggah noted that it was also one of the strategies to stop further transmission of the virus.
He pointed out the fact that Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had announced the extension of the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO) nationwide until the end of the year indicated the government is still taking a very serious view of the pandemic.
“It is still with us. We have not won the war so we must continue fighting,” he stressed.
He also advised rural folks to continue observing all SOPs and guidelines to protect themselves.
“Longhouse and village chiefs should direct their respective Village Security and Development Committee (JKKK) to monitor compliance.
“The JKKKs are the last line of defense in such areas. Thus this workshop is very timely to teach them what to do not only in the fight against Covid-19, but other diseases like rabies and dengue and more modern ills like fake news on social media. All must give their full commitment,” he said.
Earlier in his speech, the Resident of Betong Division Friday Belik had said 23 workshops would be held until the middle of September for 660 JKKKs from the various districts and sub-districts in the division, involving some 3,300 participants.
Among those present were Rentap, Beting Maro assemblyman Razali Gapor, Saribas assemblyman Mohammad Razi Sitam and others.