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Kota Kinabalu
Ahad, Februari 25, 2024

Liew calls for more stringent SOPs at school level 

Liew with a parent and children at a village in Papar.

KOTA KINABALU – Former Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Christina Liew has called on the Government to ensure stricter safety measures are in place in view of the scheduled reopening of schools and other educational institutions nationwide on January 20.

She said more stringent COVID-19 standard operating procedures (SOPs) in terms of physical distancing and practice of good personal hygiene habits at school level must be introduced to avert a new wave of infections.

Speaking to reporters after handing out school bags to children, Saturday, the Api Api Assemblywoman said :
“I am concerned about the deepening health crisis in the country despite measures to curb the spread of the pandemic. We have read reports that the nation’s healthcare system was reaching a breaking point due to the escalating numbers. 

Liew with children at a village in Sembulan.

“If we look at the statistics, we can see a continuing daily rise in the number of COVID-19 cases in Sabah in particular, in the wake of the Christmas and New Year celebrations. 

“It’s one thing to establish SOPs for COVID-19 but it’s another to enforce the procedures effectively so that we can succeed in flattening the curve.”

According to Liew, parents, who are concerned about adequate safety precautions, are questioning whether the country is actually ready to reopen schools on January 20 or if it should be deferred until the situation has abated.

“Given the unprecedented devastation, we cannot afford to have a fourth wave of COVID-19 infections. If the Government is going ahead with its plan to reopen schools on January 20, the priority should be on ensuring that our children study in a COVID-19-free environment, without the potential threat of creating new clusters,” she asserted, adding that full compliance with the health guidelines is vital.

Earlier, Liew visited a village in Papar to hand over school bags to families following the parents’ request for the items for their children. She also gave out 200 calendars to members of the community. Other areas visited by her included Sembulan, Likas, Inanam and Telipok “in response to calls for help and contributions from affected residents.”

On Thursday (January 7), Malaysia hit a record high of 3,027 cases, the highest since the pandemic, according to Health Director-General Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah. He also warned that the number of cases could reach 8,000 a day in March if the infectivity rate – known as R-naught (RO) – stays at 1.2.

Similarly, Sabah reported record high daily new cases at 493 on Thursday (January 7) since the beginning of the New Year, according to COVID-19 spokesperson Datuk Masidi Manjun.