Tuesday, November 24

‘Samples taken on first or second day of arrival’

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Dr Chin Zin Hing

KUCHING: All Malaysians who return to Sarawak from the peninsula, Sabah and Labuan will now only have their samples taken for Covid-19 testing on the first or second day of arrival.

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah said this was the latest decision reached by Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) yesterday and it will take effect tomorrow (Aug 1).

He explained that these returnees are required to wear QR-code wristbands provided by SDMC at their respective points of arrivals.

“They will wear the wristband and allowed to return to their respective homes. They are required to have their samples taken for Covid-19 testing at the nearest Klinik Kesihatan (government health clinic) on first or second day of arrival.

“For those whose destinations are in the interiors such as outside Kuching, Sibu, Bintulu and Miri, they will be put under quarantine and have their samples taken on the second day. If the result is negative, only then they will be allowed to go home without having to continue their quarantine,” he told the daily Covid-19 update yesterday.

Uggah, who is also SDMC chairman, also reminded Sarawakians that wearing of face masks in public places such as shopping malls, public transports, markets and eateries is mandatory effective tomorrow.

He warned that enforcement officers will take appropriate action against business operators and the public who fail to wear face masks when out in public places.

“When you are eating, of course you cannot be wearing face masks. The police of course will understand the situation,” he added.

Uggah added that the Health Ministry has come up with the specifications for reusable face mask according to the guideline issued by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

“As we make face masks compulsory, we understand that the disposable one should be changed on a daily basis. So the government also recommended that people can use the reusable ones but the quality should be of certain standard,” he said.

He said the National Security Council (MKN) is expected to come up with a standard guideline on face masks, including the reusable ones which can be used by students when going to school.

Meanwhile, Sarawak Health Department director Dr Chin Zin Hing who was also present recommended the three-ply disposable mask which is commonly found in the market.

“As for reusable face mask, it also should have three layers with a filter layer in the middle,” he explained.

On another matter, he confirmed a directive had been received to close Satok Market or Medan Niaga Satok for 14 days effective today after an active Covid-19 cluster was found
there.