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By Lian Cheng
KUCHING, Oct 20: The Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) has made it mandatory for non-Sarawakians to apply for entry via enterSarawak to ease contact tracing when a positive Covid-19 case is detected.
In its daily Covid-19 update today, SDMC said the Sarawak Health Department after re-looking at the current situation in Malaysia as well as that in Sarawak especially its border control, had made recommendations to improve entry procedures for travellers into Sarawak.
“For the purpose of facilitating contact tracing by the Divisional or District Health Office involving travellers who become positive after entering Sarawak, SDMC proposes that applications to enter Sarawak via enterSarawak be maintained for non-Malaysians and Malaysians who are not from Sarawak (non-Sarawakians) while those working or residing in Sarawak where the purpose of their entry is clear and a residential address is readily available, may be exempted.
“For those who do not reside in Sarawak, the information in enterSarawak will facilitate contact tracking so that control measures can be taken quickly,” SDMC explained.
SDMC cited a recent case to drive home its point.
The Bintulu Health Office, SDMC said, detected a positive case in October 2021 involving a traveller from Kuala Lumpur to Sarawak. The individual arrived in Sarawak and showed a record of moving from one hotel to another before testing positive. He was noted to have visited Bakun after leaving Bintulu and was later found to be positive through symptomatic screening.
SDMC said in this case, the record of his movement was essential in facilitatinh contact tracing and for quick identification of linked cases.
“For cases that do not have information such as telephone numbers, addresses and movements, for example, the four illegal immigrants detected in Sibu late last year, it is very difficult for the health team to detect the linked cases, and many members of the public had already been exposed before these four individuals were identified. And this included passengers on the same bus, close contacts at their accommodation and others,” said SDMC, citing another case.
SDMC took note of the technical issues encountered by enterSarawak applicants and agreed to make improvements to the process.
It reiterated that the latest decision pertaining to the procedure for entering Sarawak aimed to facilitate entry into Sarawak, especially for Sarawakians and individuals residing in Sarawak, while reducing the risk of Covid-19 transmission.
SDMC called for patience and cooperation from all quarters to minimise the spread of Covid-19 in Sarawak. — DayakDaily