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DCM: Procedures change for returning Sarawakians after IPT cluster found
Posted on : 16 May 2020  Source of News: The Borneo Post

DCM: Procedures change for returning Sarawakians after IPT cluster found


Douglas Uggah Embas

KUCHING: The Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) has changed the procedures for returning Sarawakians after a new Covid-19 cluster known as the ‘IPT Cluster’ was found in Sabah and  Peninsular Malaysia.

SDMC chairman, Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah, said they had decided yesterday to take extra precaution by requiring samples to be taken from the returnees arriving from the peninsula, Sabah and Labuan once they touched down in Sarawak.

“They will be screened and placed at hotels until the test results of their sample are known. Only those whose samples test negative are allowed to go home, but are required to wear a QR-code wristband as they continue their quarantine at home,” he said at the daily Covid-19 update yesterday.

He also said another decision by SDMC was to require Sarawakian civil servants in the peninsula, Sabah and Labuan to undergo the Polymerase Chairn Reaction (PCR) test three days prior to returning to the state.

“They can only be allowed back to Sarawak if their sample test result is negative,” he said.

On Thursday, Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah in revealing the IPT Cluster, said it comprised three positive cases at Universiti Malaysia Sabah, and two positive cases at Universiti Perguruan Sultan Idris in Perak.

He was also quoted as saying that th source of infection could be from infected staff who had more liberty to move around than the students quarantined at the hostels.

Regarding the number of students who had already returned to Sarawak, Uggah said they had so far coordinated the return of 4,931 students coming back from the peninsula, Sabah and Labuan.

He also said SDMC would coordinate the return of 1,451 students in institutions within Sarawak to their respective hometowns within the state.

On another matter, he said the Sarawak government had generally given a leeway for foreign workers in the state to return to their respective countries during this Covid-19 pandemic.

“However, we do not guarantee that they can come back to Sarawak,” he said.

Uggah also said SDMC was still negotiating with state Health Department and Social Security Organisation (Socso) on suitable measures to do Covid-19 screening for  all workers, be they local or foreigners, in Sarawak.16

Credit to: The Borneo Post