All students going back ‘kampung’ must be screened for Covid-19; miring allowed during Gawai

Uggah (centre) addressing a press conference. Also seen is Dr Sim (left). Photo credit: Ukas

By Karen Bong

KUCHING, May 27: All local public and private higher institution students returning to their hometowns throughout Sarawak must be screened and tested for Covid-19.

State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) chairman Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas thus urged students, who have returned to their hometowns but yet to be screened, to report to their respective district Resident Offices immediately.

“We have decided to test all the local students whether they are from Unimas, UiTM, I-System College, Swinburne, Curtin or polytechnics.

“Those who return to kampung (hometowns) are required to be tested. This is a measure to ensure the health status of all the students and also to break the chain of transmission as soon as possible.

“We are aware that a lot of students have returned to their hometowns in the rural areas and the residents have been instructed to organised a programme to ensure they have been screened,” he told a press conference on Covid-19 today.

This measure came following a college student from I-System College testing positive for Covid-19. The student was among the three positive cases reported in Sarawak today (May 27).

It was reported that the student had visited a friend in Samarahan before returning to Tanjung Manis.

Meanwhile, traditional ritual ceremonies such as miring (offering and prayer ceremony) are allowed to be observed during the upcoming Gawai Dayak festival during the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO).

However, Uggah reiterated that ‘ngabang Gawai’ or Gawai visiting from house to house as well as longhouse to longohouse was forbidden.

“Some people come to the idea that rituals like miring and others are not allowed. It is not true. We are not stopping the customs of celebrating Gawai. The rituals are allowed.

“The Hari Gawai celebration this year will be celebrated for one day and on the first day only,” he said.

He expressed appreciation to all Sarawakians, especially during the Hari Raya celebration, for exercising high self-discipline as there were no cases of breaching the CMCO recorded.

“It showed a high compliance rate among Sarawakians and that they understand the need to sacrifice for the good of all people.

“We hope the same spirit will also be practiced and advocated during the upcoming Gawai celebration. Let’s work together to curb the spread of Covid-19. Stay vigilant and stay at home as much as you can to take good care of Sarawak,” he added.—DayakDaily