Reopening borders too soon will spell trouble

I would like to respond to the suggestion made by Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB) Pujut Chairman Bruce Chai, published in a news article online recently, to open our borders with Sabah and Sarawak.

While the country has not recorded any new COVID-19 cases in over a month, it is my opinion that it would be reckless to re-open the borders so soon.

Safeguarding the health of the population is and should be our number one priority. Easing restrictions too early, especially when we’re still in the containment stage, would only squander the hard work of the authorities.

My suggestion is that our country should be at least free of new infections for at least six months before contemplating border reopening.

Once we’ve accomplished that, we should wait until our neighbours – Sabah and Sarawak – have had zero new cases for 12 months before revisiting the plan to reopen our borders with them.

Then, once the world has successfully won the battle against the coronavirus, we can then have a discussion on lifting travel restrictions.

It is an unprecedented crisis that we are facing here. So far, the countries that have eased restrictions too soon are seeing a rise in new cases. Do we want to follow in their footsteps?

Our authorities have been doing a great job in controlling the spread. I understand the eagerness to return to the old ways, but one misstep is all it takes for us to go back to square one.

Hassan Jerudong