SDMC: Barbed wires not needed for lockdowns, Sarawakians cooperative

Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas

By Ling Hui

KUCHING, Nov 12: Barbed wire is not required like some parts in West Malaysia when implementing lockdown in Sarawak because Sarawakians are cooperative.

This is the view of State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) chairman Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas when he said barbed wire was seen to be set up in some parts of the lockdown areas in West Malaysia, unlike in Kampung Haji Baki.

“If you notice, in some parts of West Malaysia, barbed wires are set up, but in Kampung Haji Baki we don’t do it because the people cooperate with each other,” he said.

Kampung Haji Baki was the first area or village to have undergone an Enhanced Movement Control Order (EMCO) in the entire Sarawak ever since the Covid-19 outbreak in March 2020.

Today marked the end of the 15-day EMCO for the village as all villagers have been screened and no new cases were reported from the second batch of screening, aside from the total of 33 positive cases detected from earlier days.

From this first-ever EMCO in the state, Uggah said SDMC has learned one lesson.

“What we now know is that more extensive testing will be able to help us to know the status of this Covid-19 within one area.

“Like in Kampung Haji Baki, we (SDMC) can say we are relieved that out of more than 3,000 people, there are no more positive cases.

“So, we will implement this (EMCO) in any area where we see that the number of positive cases are rising,” he said in a press conference of Covid-19 updates at the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) Complex today.

Meanwhile, he revealed that the committee is currently discussing with relevant ministries and agencies regarding the opening of tuition centres in green zones, thus awaiting replies and not confirmed.

Yesterday (Nov 11), all nurseries and kindergartens in Sarawak were allowed to operate except in the red zone which is Kuching as of now.

In fear that the Covid-19 could easily spread to children, Uggah said SDMC remains its decision for the nurseries and kindergartens in Kuching to stay closed for the moment.

“We can see that the distribution of the positive cases in Kuching are not confined to one area, so we fear that it would spread to nurseries and kindergartens.

“Like today, there are children who were reported positive of the virus. So, our (SDMC’s) decision is for the nurseries and kindergartens to remain closed for now,” he said.—DayakDaily