CM: RM151 mil spent this year on Sarawak’s Covid-19 response

Abang Johari speaking during a press conference.

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By Karen Bong

BINTULU, May 19: The Sarawak government has poured in RM151 million into the State’s Covid-19 response for the first five months of the year — an increase of RM60 million compared to the whole of 2020 at RM91 million.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg pointed out that the expenditure incurred excludes the assistance allocated for the people through programmes like Bantuan Khas Sarawakku Sayang (BKSS), but solely on Covid-19 response systems including quarantine, food aid and many others.

The increase in funds targeting Covid-19 responses, he said, was due to several more preventive measures being taken in managing and fighting the Covid-19 pandemic in Sarawak.

“Up to May this year (2021), the State government has spent RM151 million to address and fight the Covid-19 pandemic as compared to RM91 million in 2020.

“Of course, we will need to allocate more funds in preparations for the months ahead,” he told a press conference following his working visit to assess the Covid-19 situation here.

For the Sarawak government, Abang Johari emphasised that the lives of the people came first during this critical period.

“In 2020, Sarawak recorded 19 deaths. But this year as of today, the number of Covid-19 fatalities have reached 230. We do not want the death toll to increase.

“The virus will die between 10 to 14 days but the problem is, it is contagious and can infect others,” he said.

That being said, Abang Johari reminded people in Sarawak that it is very important that people practiced self-discipline and self-control including adhering to all standard operating procedures (SOP).

“We must take care and protect ourselves. So in the meantime, please refrain from celebrating what day what day lah,” he added, referring to the Mother’s Day cluster which emerged in Bau recently after 26 people attended a private gathering where 17 people contracted Covid-19. — DayakDaily