Sarawak bans entry of travellers from Labuan over Covid-19 variants

File photo for illustration purposes

KUCHING, June 25: All citizens and non-citizens who have travelled to Labuan in the last 21 days are not allowed to enter Sarawak in the meantime, except for emergency purposes with prior approval required.

The State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC), in its daily updates on Covid-19 situation in Sarawak, announced that this latest travel restriction into Sarawak takes effect immediately.

For emergencies, travellers who have been in and from Labuan are required to obtain entry approval from SDMC.

The changes to the Covid-19 travel regulations and entry guidelines to Sarawak including the quarantine period were made following risk assessments that were carried out from time to time.

SDMC emphasised that the decisions implemented were crucial to prevent the spread of Covid-19 variants from outside Sarawak, particularly involving variants of concern (VOC) and variants of interest (VOI) that were found to be fast-spreading and increased the risk of death into the State.

Touching on the current Covid-19 development within and beyond Sarawak, SDMC informed that the World Health Organisation (WHO) had on June 22 reported that 22 countries have recorded cases linked to the high transmissibility and very dangerous Delta B.1.617.2 variant.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) had also reported that many states have recorded cases related to SARS-CoV2 VOC including local cases of the Delta variant in Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Labuan, as well as Johor, Negeri Sembilan and Perlis.

This combination of high transmissibility and high severity from symptoms that could increase deterioration on health and risk of hospitalisation makes the Delta variant a large threat.

After taking into consideration the severity of the situation and risk of VOC infections spreading in Sarawak, SDMC and the State Health Department had thus reviewed the entry guidelines and regulations into Sarawak from outside the country and other states.

SDMC has also agreed to follow the quarantine order issued by MOH on June 15, with additional regulations for entry into Sarawak.

MOH had previously announced that travellers and airline cabin crews arriving into the country from international gateway are required to be quarantined for 14 or 21 days at the first point of entry before they are allowed to proceed to their final destinations. — DayakDaily