Requirement to undergo swab test every two weeks only applies to those in essential services, clarifies Dr Annuar

Dr Annuar getting feedback from frontliners at the Indoor Stadium vaccination centre.

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SIBU, May 20: The new standard operating procedure (SOP) of undergoing a swab test once every two weeks only applies to workers of essential service holding inter-zone traveling permits.

Assistant Minister of Housing and Local Government Dr Annuar Rapaee said he had to clarify this as certain politicians had “make an issue up of it to create confusion among the public”.

“It is not true that this new SOP applies to everybody as it only affect workers of essential services, who due to the nature of their work, need to travel. We need to be more responsible. So please do not make use of it to stir up issues,” he said during his Covid-19 update via Facebook live last night.

Under this new SOP, workers of essential services who had been given inter-zone traveling permits, need to undergo a swab test once every two weeks.

Additionally those under this sector who show signs of Covid-19 symptoms such as cough, fever and diarrhea, would also need to go for a swab test.

Explaining the rational for the swab test, he said it acted as a precautionary measure to prevent those who might be Covid-19 positive from spreading the disease to the community and their family members.

“As such, workers who need to move around due to their job, they might pose a high risk to the community, so the swab test is in place as a precaution to avoid the spread of the virus,” he said.

The Nangka assemblyman also refuted allegations that the new SOP was to curtail the movement of the people.

“This SOP is not mean to restrict the movement of the people as it only applies to those in essential services who need to travel between zones,” he added.

As an example, he said the Sibu Central Police Station had from 8am to 4pm on May 19 received 55 applications from the people for inter-zone travelling permits.

Of the number, only three applications were rejected. Those approved included two due to the death of family member, 10 for welfare reason, 12 for workers of essential service, six for medical examination, three for official matters and 20 for other matters.

On the vaccination programme here, he said the next rounds ae scheduled on May 22, 23, 24 and 25 for first dose recipients, and May 28 and 29 for those receiving their second dose. — DayakDaily