SIBU, Dec 22: The State Government in curbing the spread of Covid-19 should not take action against illegal foreign workers but encourage them to do rt-PCR testing within a definite period of time.
Bukit Assek assemblywoman Irene Chang in her press statement today said by encouraging foreign workers to get themselves tested would help to reduce the spread of Covid-19.
Chang in saying this was referring to the case of four Indonesian women who were found positive of Covid-19 in Sibu and who had managed to return to Indonesia.
“The ease in how they managed to return to their country, shows that our security at our land border with Indonesia is still very lacking. It can therefore be expected that there are many Indonesians working illegally and staying in our State.
“There is no telling if and how many of them are infected, particularly when, as of today, Indonesia ranked 20 in the global scale of having the highest infection in the country,” she said.
Chang said in order to prevent the illegal foreign workers who may have been infected from roaming freely among our locals, the State government should consider issuing a statement to direct the State Immigration not to take any legal action against all illegal foreign workers in the State but encourage them to get themselves tested and thereafter to deport them back to their own country immediately.
“Within this period of time, action should also not be taken against any agents/employers or whosoever has been harbouring these persons illegally, if they bring their workers to be tested,” she said.
“This would be a better alternative then to crackdown the illegals who might go into hiding if harsh penalty awaits them for entering the State illegally. And in the meantime, with the possibility of some of them being infected and spreading the infections among our local people if they were allowed to mix freely in the community.” she added.
On the case of the four Indonesians she said even though the local authorities are now doing contact tracing and random testing, they should take urgent action to address and resolve the inadequacies in the system which had allowed the 4 to roam freely around in Sibu before their return to Kalimantan.
“In particular, the authorities should look into the reason why was there no passenger list available from the bus management company of the particular route which had taken the Indonesians to Serian and Entikong. They should ensure that what had happened should never be allowed to repeat,” she said.
She added that the local authorities in Sibu should make sure that all means of transport for both inbound and outbound trips should follow the SOPs strictly or to face the wrath of the law to protect the passengers, drivers and other employees and community at large.
Chang also called on the people of Sibu to always maintain and adhere to the SOP strictly. — DayakDaily