Interzone movement ban takes effect in Sarawak, only those in essential services with police permit allowed to travel

Police personnel manning a roadblock in Kuching in this file photo.

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By Karen Bong

KUCHING, April 16: Interzone travel has been restricted for Sarawak until further notice, with only selected essential services such as public transportation, logistics for food supply chain and daily essentials and emergencies with a police permit effective from Monday (April 19) allowed to travel between zones due to the alarming number of Covid-19 cases in the State.

State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) chairman Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas announced this latest enhanced standard operating procedures (SOP) for interzone travel and movement at a press conference on the Covid-19 situation in Sarawak today.

“SDMC has found that as many as 505 positive cases and eight clusters were recorded since January this year until today were due to interzone movement (Import-C cases).

“As such, SDMC has decided to tighten the movement of people across zones,” he explained.

From April 19 onwards, Uggah, who is also deputy chief minister, informed that police permits will be required for interzone travel.

The police, he continued, have been instructed to only issue police permits for those in essential services only.

“All this while, the definition of essential services have been too wide reaching and confusing so we have come up with clearer categories of services allowed which are public transportation, drivers delivering food supply and daily essentials and emergencies only.

“As for emergencies, we will decide on what kind of emergencies will be allowed in due time,” he added.

As Sarawak recorded the highest-ever single-day spike of daily Covid-19 figure with 960 cases, Uggah once again appealed to the public to remain vigilant and comply strictly with all SOPs in order to protect themselves and curb the spread of infections in the State.

Of the new cases, Kuching topped the list of daily cases at 370 followed by Bintulu (175), Mukah (103), Sibu (100), Miri (83), Kapit (24), Belaga (20), Bukit Mabong (13), Serian (9), Selangau (7), Kanowit (6), Sebauh, Subis and Marudi (5 each), Kabong and Sri Aman (4 each), Song, Lubok Antu, Betong, Samarahan and Matu (3 each), Daro and Bau (2 each) while Beluru, Sarikei and Tanjung Manis one each.

This thus increased the State’s tally of positive cases to 22,920. — DayakDaily