Tuesday, August 11

SDMC in talks with hotel operators on using their premises as quarantine centres for returnees

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Dr Sim Kui Hian

KUCHING: Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) is currently engaging with hotel operators in regards to having individuals entering the state quarantined at hotels due to the Covid-19 pandemic, said Minister of Local Government and Housing Dato Dr Sim Kui Hian.

“The state disaster management committee is currently discussing with hotel operators,” said Dr Sim briefly when met after handing over a mock cheque of RM50,000 from Sarawak United Peoples’ Party to the Committee of Management of Kuching Chung Hua Primary Schools No.1 to 6 today.

In a Facebook post on Thursday, Dr Sim apologised for the change of policy in regard to whether returnees should be quarantined in hotels or not, as not all hotels now were willing to be designated as a place for returnees to be quarantined.

He told the press that the reluctance of hotels being designated as quarantine centres was partly due to the gradual opening of the state’s economy and the resumption of their normal business operations.

“If a hotel is designated as a location to quarantine returnees, the operator is not allowed to open their business for customers for the time being,” said Dr Sim.

On Thursday, SDMC’s chairman Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas said returnees were required to wear QR-code wristbands before being sent to their respective homes after entering the state.

Returnees whose destinations are in the interior, such as outside of Kuching, Sibu, Bintulu and Miri will be put under quarantine at designated centres first and they will be released once their swab tests come back negative for Covid-19.

On July 26, SDMC announced that all Malaysians coming into the state from Peninsula Malaysia, Sabah and Labuan have to undergo compulsory quarantine at designated hotels upon arrival from Aug 1 to 14. The policy has since been reversed.

On a separate note, Dr Sim said during the mock cheque presentation yesterday that he will leave it to the police on whether individuals are required to write their name in full before entering a premise.