KUCHING: Indonesians with valid working permits are now allowed to come and work in Sarawak, provided their employers pay for the costs of their quarantine and Covid-19 screening test.
Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas said the decision was made at the Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) meeting yesterday.
“Before this, we barred Indonesians from coming to Sarawak. But after discussion and assessing the needs in Sarawak, we decided today that all Indonesians with valid working permit are allowed in.
“They must undergo compulsory quarantine of 14 days. The cost of their quarantine at the assigned quarantine centre, and the cost of Covid-19 tests on the day of their arrival and on the 10th day of their quarantine, will be borne by the employer,” he said yesterday.
The announcement by Uggah came five days after SDMC issued a statement stating Sarawak barred any foreigners from Indonesia from entering the state for the time being until further notice.
This was after an Indonesian couple allegedly evaded treatment for Covid-19 and disappeared from their living quarters on June 18 after testing positive for the virus following a swab test carried out on them as a requirement to work at a construction site in Petra Jaya.
The couple was apprehended by the police at a house in Jalan Matang Baru at around 11.15pm later that night.
On a related matter, Uggah, who is SDMC chairman, also said a total of 258 foreign workers had been screened for Covid-19 to-date.
They comprised those working at the Podium project site and other construction sites at the Old DUN Complex, Fort Margherita and Pangkalan Sapi.
“A total of four, one at the Podium site and three others at the other sites, had tested positive,” he added.
He also said six roadblocks are being erected under Ops Benteng to prevent foreigners from sneaking into Sarawak to avoid further spread of Covid-19 – two in Lundu and one each in Bau, Serian, Sri Aman and Lubok Antu.
“A total of 1,167 vehicles had been checked so far,” he added.