Tiong: Bintulu DDMC looking into implementing stricter district entry, exit regulations

Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing

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KUCHING, Aug 21: Bintulu Disaster Management Committee (DDMC) is looking into re-implementing district entry and exit measures seeing the recent rise of Covid-19 cases in neigbouring districts.

Bintulu MP Dato Sri Tiong King Sing said the standard operating procedures (SOP) to be reviewed includes the need for all district entries to come with Covid-19 negative test results and police permits, and the fortnightly swab tests for logistics drivers.

While ensuring strict compliance with SOPs, he said the authorities will also take into consideration the costs of such frequent testing to alleviate the people’s burden.

“I have requested the Bintulu Health Department to develop the counter-measures and look into reducing the costs of testing on people who must enter and exit the district frequently to ease their burdens.

“It is now crucial to re-implement strict entry and exit measures into the district. Logistics drivers can be tested for free after they have been reviewed by the authorities, but their family members are not among those eligible for the same free testing,” he said in a statement today.

On previous regulations that only letters from employers, instead of police permits, are required to enter Bintulu, Tiong said there were cases with forged documents whereby the companies listed do not even exist.

Thus, he said he will suggest to Bintulu DDMC to stop accepting applications for district entry issued by employers, but to enforce the rules that police permits are mandatory.

Tiong, who is also the Prime Minister’s special envoy to China, stressed the importance of such strictness as entries from Kuching were detected among Covid-19 cases in Bintulu in the past two weeks.

With Kuching’s daily caseloads soaring to a record high of 1,601 yesterday (Aug 20), he said the situation is alarming and he would not want the same for Bintulu.

“Therefore, I personally urge that the Bintulu DDMC urgently review our SOP to mitigate this development. This would annoy and inconvenience some people but it is the only way out of a worsening situation.

“I have stressed many times before, that Bintulu is a densely populated heavy industry area. If the pandemic gets out of control here, the consequences would be disastrous,” he added. — DayakDaily