Inmates of two Depots, six prisons to be swabbed after Semuja Immigration Depot outbreak

Sarawak Covid-19

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KUCHING, March 18: Two Immigration Detention Depots (DTIs) and six prisons in Sarawak with 4,444 detainees in total are to be swabbed for Covid-19 following an outbreak at the Semuja Immigration Depot in Serian today.

Other than the affected immigration depot, State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) chairman Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas said, additional civilian tests would be done in other detaining centres as well.

“Sarawak State Health Department (JKNS) will increase the screening capacity at DTIs and prisons. This decision had been made after today’s 99 Covid-19 positive cases reported at Semuja Immigration Depot, Serian,” he said during a press conference on Covid-19 update today.

Adding on, he said the two DTIs involved are the Semuja Immigration Depot in Serian with 463 detainees and the Bekenu Immigration Depot in Miri with 521 detainees.

The six prisons, on the other hand, are Puncak Borneo Prison, Kuching with 1,210 prisoners, Sri Aman Prison Centre (407), Sibu Prison Centre (559), Bintulu Correctional Centre (290), Miri Prison Centre (566) and Limbang Prison (428).

These prisons recorded 3,460 detainees in total with 3,268 men and 192 women.

Uggah, after listing out the places to undergo active case detection (ACD), said these are all crowded places and SDMC’s concern with having positive cases at such locations have materialised.

“All these while we have been worried about any widespread in such confined and crowded spaces, so what we have witnessed at Semuja Immigration Depot has actually happened where 99 detainees were found positive (for Covid-19).

“So, JKNS has decided to do civilian tests in all those areas, hoping there are no more such cases in those areas.

“We have to be really, really careful,” he said.—DayakDaily