SDMC mulls more quarantine facilities in Sibu for returnees

A file photo of Uggah addressing a press conference on the State Covid-19 updates. Credit: Information Department of Sarawak.

By Ling Hui

KUCHING, Dec 28: The State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) is looking into adding more quarantine centres in Sibu.

SDMC chairman Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas said the committee is concerned about the lack of quarantine centres to accommodate returnees and is working with the Divisional Disaster Management Committee (DDMC) in Sibu town to increase the number of quarantine centres especially hotels there.

“We are studying the situation in Sibu and in discussion with the DDMC in Sibu.

“The DDMC in Sibu is working hard to ensure that there is enough facility in the town to accommodate returnees.

“I was informed that there are additional hotels for quarantine.

“The quarantine centre in Sarawak is not just confined to hotels but other facilities for instance at Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas),” he told a press conference on the state Covid-19 updates here today.

Uggah was responding to questions on returnees to be sent for home surveillance order (HSO) due to lack of quarantine centres in Sarawak in particular Sibu.

Uggah, who is Deputy Chief Minister, gathered that some Sarawakians were smart and wanted to avoid being quarantined in hotels by flying to Sibu before embarking on to other destinations.

He added the probability of those flying to Sibu to be given home quarantine was high.

Citing a case in Bintulu whereby there was a returnee who was given home quarantine and tested positive for Covid-19, he urged returnees especially those to Sibu to comply with the standard operating procedures (SOPs) set by the committee and the state government.

Uggah, who is also Second Finance Minister, revealed that Sarawak has adequate hospital beds and quarantine centres to accommodate Covid-19 patients and returnees.

“We are preparing to upgrade our (health facilities) so that we will not be overrun when things get worse,” he added.

Urging Sarawakians to be vigilant, cooperative, take responsibilities and play their roles, Uggah is confident that Kuching and Sarawak will revert into a green zone of Covid-19 soon.

He noted that Sarawakians are disciplined and thus the Covid-19 situation in Sarawak is under control.

On another note, Uggah said the state government is currently maintaining the frequency of flights flying to Sibu.

He disclosed that reducing the frequency of flights coming into Sarawak is the last option after all options to accommodate returnees were exhausted. —DayakDaily