Uggah: Enhanced SOP on inter-zone travel to be revealed tomorrow

Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas

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By Karen Bong

KUCHING, April 15: Revised guidelines for inter-zone travel will be announced tomorrow and are expected to be come into force this Monday (April 19) to restrict and minimise non-essential travel in light of a spike in Covid-19 cases in Sarawak.

State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) chairman Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas emphasised the need to review and enhance the guidelines or standard operating procedures (SOPs) for movement across zones as the current regulations are too vague and resulted in low compliance, thus becoming the main contributor to the soaring number of cases in the State.

“One of the contributing factors to the spike in Covid-19 cases in Sarawak is easy access of travelling from zone to zone.

“Even though there are existing restrictions and controls on inter-zone travel and movement but it seems in the past few months, low compliance with the regulations has become the main contributor to the increase in cases,” he said during a press conference to give updates on the Covid-19 situation in Sarawak here today.

Uggah, who is also Deputy Chief Minister, noted that the current SOPs which allowed those in essential services to move around was too vague and can be interpreted in many ways.

“The details or conditions to allow movement from zone to zone will be announced tomorrow (April 16) after discussion with the police.

“We need to review and come up with a clearer guideline so that it can be implemented starting Monday (April 19).

“This will also provide the police with a clear understanding of the guidelines to facilitate them in issuing and approving permits for inter-zone travel and movement,” he added.

With Sarawak recording the highest number of daily infections in the country with 512 cases today, Uggah also announced that starting Monday, there will be no physical meetings to be organised for the next two weeks, and meetings will be conducted online instead.

“Also, no travelling to other districts unless deemed necessary and (they) must obtain approval from the head of department.

“All events are advised to be deferred for the next two weeks,” he added.

Uggah once again appealed to Sarawak residents to strictly comply with SOPs as success in curbing the current outbreak is highly dependent on cooperation from all strata of society. — DayakDaily