State government eyeing new methods to house returning Sarawakians

Abdul Karim addressing the press during a press conference at Wisma Bapa Malaysia. Photo Credit: Sarawak Public Communications Unit (UKAS).

KUCHING, Apr 11: The state government is looking at new methods to accommodate the increasing number of Sarawakians who are coming back from outstation during the extended period of movement control order (MCO).

State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) deputy chairman Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said the state government is making preparations to house Sarawakians, especially students, who might return back to the state during the Ramadan month.

“I believe tomorrow or the day after tomorrow, we will come up with a new method to accommodate those who are coming back from outstation.

“From feedback which we have received, there might be a possibility that the number of rooms in hotels which have placed those coming back from outstation (under quarantine) are insufficient,” he told the press during a press conference at Wisma Bapa Malaysia here.

Earlier, he disclosed that there were 137 Sarawakians who returned from outstation and being quarantined at the respective hotels in various locations as person under surveillance (PUS) to curb the transmission of novel coronavirus (Covid-19).

Abdul Karim outlined that to date, Sarawak had welcomed a total of 712 people who returned to Sarawak.

Abdul Karim who is Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister added that if the MCO is prolonged until Hari Raya or Hari Gawai, the state government might need to search for additional accommodation to house an influx of Sarawakians returning home.

Therefore, Abdul Karim who is also Asajaya assemblyman explained that the state government is looking at new methods to house those coming back from outstation and at the same time curb the potential transmission of Covid-19 in Sarawak.

He also pointed out that the QR coded wristbands created by Sarawak Multimedia Authority (SMA) to monitor the movement of travellers coming back from overseas are insufficient.

He stated that SMA had just produced a few hundred of those wristbands and additional orders are being placed to ensure that they are sufficient to cover the higher number of people especially returning Sarawakians from outstation.

The QR-coded wristbands is a digital surveillance device created by SMA to keep track of the people coming into Sarawak and to curb the spread of Covid-19.—DayakDaily