No more tolerance: Authorities to crack down on ‘Covid-19 hotbed’ involving rented rooms, houses in Bintulu

Dato Sri Tiong King Sing

By Nur Ashikin Louis

BINTULU, June 18: Authorities will launch enforcement action and ban activities in “rumah sewa” (rented houses) and “bilik sewa” (rented rooms) soon as they have become ‘hotbed’ for new Covid-19 outbreaks, warned Bintulu MP Dato Sri Tiong King Sing.

Tiong pointed out that the division had yesterday detected eight new Covid-19 cases from the rented houses and rooms.

“We must not take it easy and tolerate the emergence of positive cases in these areas. These bilik sewa have become a hotbed of new outbreaks.

“The respective owners of these premises must prepare themselves to face actions by authorities.

“I also urge the Bintulu Development Authority (BDA) to take immediate action to demolish the illegal bilik sewa to avoid future outbreaks,” he said in a statement today.

Tiong, who is also Prime Minister’s Special Envoy to China, further stressed that the owners of these rented premises must bear their share of responsibility to prevent cases from arising from their tenants.

“They must be proactive in ensuring that their tenants comply with the standard operating procedures (SOP) to prevent Covid-19 and maintain a healthy standard of sanitisation in the housing areaa.

“Even more crucial is to strictly control the movement of people in and out of the rumah sewa, stop accepting new residents for now, and not let relatives and friends from other places stay over.

“With so many people living in a single unit, it is already difficult to maintain social distancing. It gets worse when owners have to identify who among the newcomers are carriers of Covid-19,” he added.

Tiong also informed that the authorities will continue to closely monitor housing areas with outbreaks of confirmed cases.

Once a housing area is identified to be at high risk of an outbreak, he said the authorities need to quickly implement a full lockdown like the ones placed on Sg Plan and PPR Taman Bandaria to effectively curb further spread of Covid-19.

At the same time, he reminded that the Dinner World vaccination centre (PPV) has adopted a simpler procedure to smoothen the flow of vaccination process.

“Once vaccine recipients arrived at the venue for their appointments, they will immediately receive the consent forms and a queue number to be lined up.

“They can then update their vaccination status on their MySejahtera app with personnel there to lend assistance if needed.

“We hope that the new procedures can speed up the entire vaccination process and make it easier for everyone and reduce crowds at these vaccination centres,” he said.

However, Tiong reiterated that it is still very important for recipients to go at their appointed times to avoid causing unnecessary crowding and allow the vaccination programme to be carried out smoothly and in orderly manner. — DayakDaily