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KUCHING, Oct 14: Despite declining Covid-19 trends, the State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) insists on pre-entry screening requirements to enter Sarawak as it reasoned that the number of severe cases (Categories 3 to 5) was still high and it is imperative to reduce the number of imported cases.
In a statement yesterday, SDMC said even though the fully vaccinated individuals are allowed to undertake interstate travel, individuals who want to enter Sarawak still need to apply via the enterSarawak app and comply with the application conditions.
This includes proof that they have completed their vaccination schedule and have negative Covid-19 test results within three days before entering Sarawak.
SDMC took note of the eagerness of those who wanted to re-unite with their families in Sarawak and were hoping for full flexibility without having to apply for entry into Sarawak.
However, there are several reasons why Sarawak still maintains a tough stance on strict requirements for those who wish to enter the State.
It pointed out that a total of 106 Import B cases were detected in Sarawak in August 2021, while 83 Import B cases were detected in September 2021. These cases were detected during the quarantine period after entering Sarawak from other states.
“There are many more cases that have tested positive before applying for admission to Sarawak. These pre-entry screening requirements into Sarawak have helped reduce the risk of in-flight transmission and protect passengers on the same aircraft.
“Despite the declining trend, cases in Sarawak are still high. The number of severe cases (Categories 3 to 5) is also still high.
“Therefore, the Sarawak Health Department hopes not to increase the burden on existing health facilities, especially ICU facilities, by not increasing the number of cases or clusters in the community through imported cases. This is so that optimal services can be provided to those who need them,” said SDMC.
SDMC informed that individuals wishing to apply to enter Sarawak can take the RTK Antigen test (swab) at a government health facility for RM60, and the results can be obtained quickly.
For those who have to re-apply via the enterSarawak app (and exceed the validity period of the Covid-19 test) due to a flight change by the airline, they can include proof of flight change for the consideration of the enterSarawak secretariat.
For now, proof of complete vaccination status must be included in the enterSarawak app so that the review process upon arrival in Sarawak is not delayed.
Consideration will also be made for those who do not have the MySejahtera application. Sarawak will make improvements in terms of reviewing the complete status of vaccinations so as not to burden passengers entering Sarawak.
“Sarawak is not the only state that still sets the Covid-19 screening requirements before admission. The state of Sabah also still sets the same conditions, namely RTK or PCR screening within 3 days before entering Sabah, in order to protect the people in Sabah from Covid-19 infection,” said SDMC.
It called on all Sarawakians who wish to return to Sarawak to be patient with these conditions, as it is intended to protect the residents of Sarawak, as well as all passengers on the same flight.
“Assessments and improvements will be made from time to time, so as not to be burdensome, while protecting you and your family,” said SDMC. — DayakDaily