Sarawak makes Covid-19 testing upon arrival mandatory for overseas returnees

Uggah addressing the media during a press conference on the Covid-19 situation in Sarawak today (July 6, 2020). Photo credit: Sarawak Public Communications Unit (Ukas)

By Ling Hui

KUCHING, July 6: Malaysian and Sarawakian returnees from overseas entering the state are now required to undergo Covid-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests on the second day after their arrival instead of taking the tests prior to travelling to Sarawak.

The State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) made this decision following several recent incidents of Sarawakian returnees testing positive.

“If their test results are negative, they will be attached with ‘wristbands’ and continue to serve their remaining period of self-quarantine at home.

“After the 10th day, their (second) Covid-19 PCR test will be taken.

“For Malaysians from Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Labuan including foreigners in Malaysia, random Covid-19 PCR tests will be taken upon their arrival at the entry point of Sarawak,” SDMC chairman Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas told a press conference when giving updates on the state’s Covid-19 situation at the former State Legislative Building here today.

Returnees will still have to undergo 14-day quarantines at their final destinations upon arrival.

On another note, Uggah who is also the Deputy Chief Minister said the committee has allowed medical tourism with standard operating procedures (SOPs) in Sarawak with immediate effect after the Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry has set the SOPs.

He added the ministry has also outlined the SOPs for the organising of meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibition (MICE), travel and trade fairs, bazaars, and arts and cultural carnivals to be effective immediately.

Uggah who is Second Finance Minister added spa, wellness centres, and foot massage and reflexology centres in Sarawak may resume operations as the Ministry for Local Government and Housing has also set the SOPs for their operations. — DayakDaily