Uggah: Sarawak disaster committee has own SOP for effective public health management

Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas

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KUCHING, March 21: The State Disaster Management Committee has its own set of standard operating procedures (SOP) with regards to public health, which is different from the one practised by the Health Ministry.

Committee chairman Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas said the state has authority to implement its own SOP with regards to public health and its policy presided over the ministry’ policy, which provides Sarawak with some kind of priority.

“This is the committee SOP which is over and above the Health Ministry’s SOP. Our policy is Sarawak first.

“We have decided from the onset, or day one of the outbreak, to have our own SOP and strategies, which suit our state geographical landscape and unique circumstances that may arise from time to time.

“We also have experienced medical officers to advise us and who sit on our committee,” he said in a statement.

Uggah was responding to a statement by Sarawak Democratic Action Party (DAP) chairman Chong Chieng Jen, who accused him of violating the Health Ministry’s SOP with regards to the announcement of information relating to novel coronavirus (Covid-19) recently.

Uggah, who is also Sarawak deputy chief minister said it has been the policy of the committee to urge all those who had close contact or were involved in the Covid-19 clusters to report to government hospitals in the state.

He added that the committee has been very consistent on the matter.

He explained that when the committee was informed of the tabligh gathering cluster as one of the sources of Covid-19 transmission, it had already appealed to those who had participated in the gathering or those in close contact with the participants to report to any government hospital.

The intention was to detect as many possibility of Covid-19 cases as possible, he continued.

Uggah Sarawak has recorded another 10 new positive cases today to add to the 68 cases that was registered. Out of the 68, it has been established that at least 42 cases were from one particular cluster.

He reiterated that the committee has been consistent in continuing to track any contact so that the public can take the necessary precautionary measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

“With these in mind, I made the call during my televised media conference on March 19 to urge all those who have close contact to all four clusters in the state to come forward.

“Our objective is crystal clear. We should not and cannot worry over the number of people answering our call and coming to the hospitals.

“We have plans to ensure we can handle the crowd. To us, the most important issue is we can track those concerned to allow us to give medical advice including the need for quarantine,” he said.

He added that with the gathered information, the committee can do follow up and monitoring to control any possible transmission to others.

Uggah believed that the announcement was an integral part of Sarawak’s agenda to curb the spread of Covid-19. — DayakDaily