Stop home quarantines for returnees, urges Bukit Assek rep

Irene Chang

SIBU, Jan 10: Bukit Assek assemblywoman Irene Chang has urged the State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) to stop home quarantines for returnees to the state.

This comes after 37 longhouse residents of Rumah Langgi from Pasai Cluster were infected by a super spreader who was allowed to be quarantined in the longhouse.

The woman had returned from Johor on Dec 29 to attend her father’s funeral service. She was tested positive with Covid-19 on Jan 6 at Jalan Lanang Health Clinic. Some 74 residents from her longhouse were screened and the results on Jan 8 came back with 37 positive cases.

As such, Chang said today that home quarantine must not be allowed anymore.

“Home quarantines cannot be allowed in any circumstances. And if quarantine centres are not readily available, a lockdown should be put in place with only limited incoming and outgoing flights,” she said.

There should also be no exemption allowed for anyone, be they a minister or an ordinary man on the street to be placed in quarantine centres.

Chang said the outbreak involving the 37 positive Covid-19 cases was an expensive lesson to learn from the wrong policy of home quarantine.

With only two more cases before Sibu turns into a red zone, she suggested that the SDMC liaise with the Ministry of Education to prepare to postpone the reopening of the schools on Jan 20.

Chang said with the record high of 55 cases yesterday in Sarawak, SDMC should implement some fast and bold decisions in the management of the Covid 19 pandemic in Sarawak to avoid another Selangor or Johor or Sabah.

“We need to arrest these figures before they soar to the three or four digits on a daily count. And the only way to regain control is to make fast decisions which are bold and decisive and even if they might be unpopular with the people,” she said.

She added enforcement measures have to be taken against all those who do not follow the SOPs strictly.

“For as long as the pandemic is still around and the tried and tested vaccine is still readily not available, there can be no relaxation of the basic rules of social distancing, no large gatherings, masks to be worn at all times and hands to be washed regularly. This should still be strictly observed even in the green zones,” she asserted. — DayakDaily