No more home quarantine for Sarawakian returnees

Uggah gives updates on the Covid-19 situation in Sarawak during a press conference today (Jan 5, 2021). Screenshot taken from Sarawak Public Communications Unit (Ukas) livestream.

By Adrian Lim

KUCHING, Jan 5: There will be no home quarantine for Sarawakian returnees.

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas said Sarawakians returning from Peninsular Malaysia and Sabah will have to undergo their quarantines at quarantine centres from now onwards.

“We want to prevent returnees from transmitting the virus to the longhouses.

“It has happened whereby there is one case identified in Pusa (Betong) today because there is insufficient quarantine centres in Sibu.

“Those returning from Johor were given home quarantine in Pusa and one positive case was reported,” he said when giving updates on Sarawak’s Covid-19 situation during a press conference here today.

Uggah who is also the State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) chairman said the committee has learnt its lesson from the Mador Cluster in Meradong, Sarikei whereby the case was given home quarantine and subsequently tested positive.

He explained that the patient was asked to observe self-quarantine at his longhouse but had not complied with standard operating procedures (SOPs) during festivities such as allowing visits during Christmas and New Year, which subsequently led to the formation of a Covid-19 cluster.

“In Sibu, the committee has found a number of new hotels and we hope the number of rooms (for quarantine) can be increased.

“Sibu (Divisional Disaster Management Committee) has made arrangements with the (Divisional Disaster Management Committees) in Betong, Sarikei and Mukah.

“In Betong, there will be more quarantine centres. In Sarikei and Mukah, we have quarantine centres,” he added.

Uggah who is also the Second Finance Minister said those from Betong returning from either Peninsular Malaysia or Sabah will be ordered to be quarantined at the quarantine centre in Betong town if there were insufficient hotels in Sibu.

“We will not allow them to undergo home quarantine. It is very dangerous,” he said. — DayakDaily