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By Karen Bong
KUCHING, April 15: Rh Bajak in Ng Semawang, Julau, Rh Nanggai Sungai Stok in Sarikei and Police Training Centre (Pulapol) in Kuching will be placed under Enhanced Movement Control Order (EMCO) until April 27, April 21 and April 29 respectively.
State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) chairman Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas announced this at a press conference when giving updates on the Covid-19 situation in Sarawak here today.
While the EMCO in Rh Bajak and Rh Nanggai Sungai Stok has already started, the EMCO for Pulapol Kuching will start tomorrow (April 16).
Uggah, who is also Deputy Chief Minister, explained that SDMC would prefer to implement EMCO, instead of MCO, in high-risk areas as such measures with clear standard operating procedures (SOPs) and restrictions are more effective in managing, controlling and curbing the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“One of the main concerns of implementing MCO is the ability and efficiency of control and enforcement especially in wide areas.
“This is based on the MCO experience in Sibu recently (from Feb 15 to March 1) and we assessed that large manpower is required to enforce MCO including for road blocks and security control for the entire area,” he said.
EMCO, he continued, is easier to be enforced especially in enclosed or targeted areas where security and enforcement authorities can implement movement restrictions more effectively.
“Moreover, when villages and longhouses are affected, these areas will be placed under lockdown immediately.
“SDMC has since declared EMCO in Sibu Jaya Flats and Rumah Sentosa in Sibu as well as in 152 longhouses throughout Sarawak. As of today, EMCO on 144 longhouses has ended while 10 longhouses are still under the restrictions,” he revealed.
Uggah emphasised that this approach has successfully brought down the number of positive cases and curbed infection transmissions in the targeted areas without putting stress on economic activities in these areas.
“In Sarawak, SDMC has implemented 487 EMCOs since January 2021 and 401 ECMOs has ended.
“A total of 77,303 individuals have been screened in EMCO areas, whereby 4,573 were found positive,” he said.
Uggah also pointed out that Divisional DMC (DDMC) has been authorised to assess the infection risk in their respective divisions and recommend appropriate SOPs to curb the spread of infections.
“SDMC has approved the SOP issued by Bintulu and Sibu DDMC,” he added. — DayakDaily