Help safeguard Sibu by serving as quarantine centres, senator urges hotels

Senator Robert Lau

By Adrian Lim

SIBU, Jan 11: Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) Bawang Assan chairman Senator Robert Lau has urged more hoteliers in Sibu to open up their premises to serve as Covid-19 quarantine centres.

He believed doing so will enable the state government to monitor and handle the Covid-19 situation better as it would allow more returnees to be isolated in hotels.

At the same time, Lau noted the Sarawak government is bearing all the cost of quarantine for returnees and thus providing business to the hotels in what is a trying time for the domestic hospitality industry in view of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Many hotels are facing an economic downturn. However, when business opportunity presents itself and at the same time it can help Sibu, many hoteliers rejected such opportunity,” he said in a statement today.

Lau noted that hoteliers in other cities and towns in Sarawak cooperated by agreeing to use their premises as quarantine centres for returnees.

Citing Limbang which has a smaller population than Sibu, he noted there are more hotels in the said town offered as quarantine centres than in Sibu.

Thus, Lau hoped that Sibu leaders and the various bodies that represent the business community will come forward to persuade and even advise their hotelier members to assist in this time of need.

On another note, he rebutted the accusation that the Sarawak government is not willing to pay for the cost of quarantine for returnees.

Lau highlighted the Sarawak government is spending millions of ringgit and continues to spend for Sarawakians returning to Sarawak.

On the Pasai Cluster detected in Sibu, he expressed his belief the 37 cases identified earlier did not overnight on January 8, 2021 and that there were two factors which contributed to the recent Covid-19 outbreak in Sibu.

“First, it is at the business community level and the second is at the individual level.

“The second factor is the non-compliance of quarantine order to stay at home, and the failure to follow the standard operating procedure (SOP) such as wearing mask, physical distancing and regular hand washing.

“This is the last trigger to the latest outbreak.

“With the benefit of hindsight again, home quaramtine doesn’t work in a longhouse setting (because of communal space and lifestyle). What will help is for everyone to do their part.

“Only together, we can win (against Covid-19),” he asserted. — DayakDaily