KUCHING: Sarawakians returning to the state will not need to pay hotel quarantine fees, the Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) announced today.
The committee will not follow the National Security Council (MKN)’s decision to charge 50 per cent of the quarantine fee on those returning to the state and quarantined at hotels.
Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas, who is also SDMC chairman, said only foreigners quarantined in hotels in Sarawak will be charged full fees.
“That is KL (Kuala Lumpur or federal government)’s decision. Over here, we have not made that decision.
“For Sarawakians at the moment, the state government is paying for the fees with part of it being paid by KL. I already explained it before.
“There was once a proposal for students returning to Sarawak to be quarantined in boarding houses. But Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg had said we should give them a bit more comfort so we put them in hotels,” he said during the daily Covid-19 update press conference today.
He was asked to respond to an announcement made by Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob that MKN has decided that all Malaysians returning from overseas quarantined at hotels starting June 1 will be charged 50 per cent of the quarantine fee.
Regarding the number of students who have already returned to Sarawak, Uggah said SDMC has so far coordinated the return of 8,116 students coming back from the Peninsular, Sabah and Labuan.
“There are about 800 more of them who have yet to come back,” he added.
He also informed that 98 quarantine centres have been opened, comprising 60 persons-under-investigation (PUI) and 38 persons-under-surveillance (PUS).
“For PUI quarantine centres, the bed capacity is 5,630 and the number of people placed there are now 4,277. As for PUS quarantine centres, 5,482 rooms are provided involving 41 hotels,” he said, adding 14,566 people have completed their quarantine orders.
To a question, Uggah reiterated that inter-district movement in Sarawak was still restricted despite announcements made by Ismail Sabri that only inter-state was not allowed during the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) period.
“If you had listened carefully to what Datuk Seri Ismail had said, for states like Sarawak the inter-district movement is not permitted.
“This is not the state government’s decision; it is already embedded in the gazetted regulation,” he said.
Asked on the extension of mobile bank services to other rural areas, he said this was still in the planning stage by the state government.
“As soon as we get the details, we will report it to the press,” he said. Pakan in Sarikei was the first location for the mobile bank services on May 10 and 11, facilitated under the Bantuan Khas Sarawakku Sayang 3.0 (BKSS 3.0).