7th Mile, Padawan residents happy with Covid-19 screening centre at Kota Sentosa basketball court

Dr Cheong (left) talking about the issues at 7th Mile basketball court as a Covid-19 screening centre while Wee (right) listened on.

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By Ling Hui

KUCHING, Sept 4: Local residents at 7th Mile and Padawan areas are happy that a bigger scaled Covid-19 screening centre is finally set up at the Kota Sentosa basketball court.

Covid-19 One Stop Centre (COSC) commander in chief Dr Cheong Yaw Liang said this is feedback from the ground and traffic is not an issue at the premise.

Following complaints that setting up a testing centre at the basketball court would lead to traffic congestion, he brought his team of Rela and Red Crescent (RC) members to the centre for an assessment yesterday (Sept 3) morning.

“Early in the morning yesterday, we went down there to see the situation for ourselves. We also helped to manage the traffic while we were there, but after evaluation, we found that traffic is not a problem.

“Kuching citizens, either from Kuching South or Padawan, are all very responsible and considerate. They parked their car properly, so the ongoing traffic was not really affected,” he said during Kuching South City Council (MBKS) mayor Dato Wee Hong Seng’s Facebook live streaming today.

On manpower shortages, Dr Cheong said he had assigned about 60 members from different agencies including Rela, RC and Ministry of Health from the Padawan camp to help out at Kota Sentosa.

“Of course, with the centre just set up and running, similar issues will surface along the way, but we will address them immediately. So, nothing to worry there,” he assured.

Due to time constraints, he added, signages are currently being put up at the basketball court to direct the flow of public and minimise congestion.

Kota Sentosa basketball court is one out of five Covid-19 screening centres, apart from COSC and Stadium Sarawak, recently set up in Kuching to cater for the increasing amount of walk-in swabs.

The other four locations are SJK (C) Chung Hua at Batu Kawa, Braang Bayur Health Clinic, Jalan Masjid Health Clinic, and Tanah Puteh Health Clinic.

In a statement yesterday, Kota Sentosa assemblyman Chong Chieng Jen voiced disagreement for turning the 7th Mile basketball court stadium into a testing centre as shortcomings of the location increase the risk of public exposure to the virus.

Other than traffic issues due to the one-lane road leading to the court, he said drive-through swab tests are also not available due to space constraints.

As an alternative, he suggested the Kuching International Airport (KIA) as it has a huge existing carpark and multi-lane roads to accommodate drive-thrus. — DayakDaily