State Health Protection Ordinance gazetted to prevent second wave of Covid-19

Dr Sim (centre) holding the document which contains the details of the State Health Protection Ordinance. He is flanked by Uggah (left) and State Health Department director Dr Chin Zin Hing (right). Photo Credit: Sarawak Public Communications Unit (UKAS).

KUCHING, May 14: The Ministry for Local Government and Housing has gazetted a new law which is the State Health Protection Ordinance to protect the public and prevent the second wave of Covid-19 in Sarawak.

Its Minister Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian said the new law will enforce compliance with quarantine measures or risk being arrested.

These measures include that Sarawakian returnees be quarantined and stay at home.

On top of this, they will be required to wear a QR-code wristband during their quarantine period.

“If we don’t gazette it, there is no legal standing,” Dr Sim said during a press conference today of the ordinance that will be implemented until June 9.

He commented on witnessing some Sarawak returnees in the open market with their wristbands attached, clearly showing their break with quarantine protocol.

Hence, as a measure to tighten the control and preventive measures of Covid-19, Dr Sim explained that his ministry needed to get the ordinance gazetted and those in violation of the law will be prosecuted.

“As we all know, the first wave of Covid-19 has been dealt with successfully.

“But we are more worried now as businesses are resuming their operations and students from outstations coming back and more Sarawakians want to travel (inter-district).

“We are worried about the second wave.”

Dr Sim explained that the state government was able to introduce the State Health Protection Ordinance because Sarawak has local government autonomy.

He asserted that the Penang and Johor governments were not able to introduce domestic laws because they followed the national jurisdictions.

He noted as more business resuming operations and students return during the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) period, Sarawak needed to tighten its control and preventive measures of Covid-19 to prevent the second wave of Covid-19.

Citing Singapore as a case study whereby there was an increase in imported cases, he said Sarawak should learn from their experience not to relax its control measure for Covid-19 in the state at this juncture.

Earlier, State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) chairman Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah told a press conference that the committee had coordinated the return of 4,312 students from West Malaysia, Sabah and Labuan back to the state as of today.

Besides, he stated that the committee had also coordinated the travel arrangement for 1,195 students to return back to their hometowns.

Uggah who is Deputy Chief Minister revealed that SDMC has received 25,583 notifications as of today from businesses to resume their operations.

He noted out of that number, 18,083 notifications were received through online whilst 7,500 notification were received through electronic mail.

For the monitoring of economic activities during CMCO, Uggah who is Agriculture Native Land and Regional Development Minister said the committee has surveyed 2,161 locations.

Those include 270 supermarkets, 372 restaurants, 32 factories, 209 banks, 75 government offices, 284 farmers market, 77 houses of worship, 77 recreational places, 17 construction site and 779 others.

Meanwhile, Sarawak allowed select economic activities and businesses to resume their operations from May 12 onwards.—DayakDaily