Mandatory 14-day quarantine meant to protect Sarawakians, not to stop families from meeting

Uggah speaking during the Covid-19 press conference today (April 11, 2021).

By Ling Hui

KUCHING, April 11: The mandatory 14-day quarantine for travelers from West Malaysia, Sabah and Labuan entering Sarawak was enforced to protect Sarawakians and not meant to discriminate against or stop families from meeting each other.

State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) chairman Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas said the procedures are meant to prevent Covid-19 spreading in local communities by those infected and returning from outside of Sarawak.

As an example, he cited the State’s most prolific Covid-19 cluster—Pasai Cluster— in Sibu that infected more than 3,000 individuals since it was confirmed. He also highlighted that many of the earlier cases reported in Sarawak were imported cases.

“So, if we don’t implement the quarantine SOP (standard operating procedure), then these people will go into the community and bring the virus there.

“Like now, the number of cases in Sarawak is increasing. If we don’t control the spread of the virus from outside, the situation will be worse,” he said during a press conference to give updates on the Covid-19 situation in Sarawak here today.

Uggah, who is also the deputy chief minister, was responding to a question from the media about a public petition for SDMC to consider lifting the quarantine order for Sarawakians from Peninsular Malaysia or Sabah so they may return to Sarawak to meet their family members.

Though sympathetic with their situation, Uggah noted certain procedures have to be followed by everyone during this times in order to break the Covid-19 transmission chain.

Thus, he pleaded for the understanding of all Sarawakians on the current pandemic situation and crisis that is faced by Sarawak now.

“There will be a time when we feel that it (quarantine order) is no longer necessary, then we will lift it, but when, that depends on the situation within the country and within Sarawak,” he said. — DayakDaily