KUCHING (Oct 1): Sarawak will seal off its borders to all non-Sarawakians and foreigners from Sabah and Labuan from Oct 4 to 18, in the state’s latest move to prevent the spread of Covid-19, the State Disaster Management Committee’s (SDMC) announced today.
SDMC chairman Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas, when announcing the committee’s decision today, said Sarawakians in Sabah and Labuan can still return home but they must first apply through the EnterSarawak app and complete and submit the e-Health Declaration Form.
“They will be quarantined at quarantine centres for 14 days and will be required to undergo the rT-PCR Covid-19 test on the second and 10th day of their quarantine,” he said, adding that the state government will continue to bear the cost for quarantine and the tests.
Uggah, who is also deputy chief minister, said for sectors categorised as essential services including delivery services that are entering Sarawak from Sabah and Labuan by land, they must obtain a special letter from the Disaster Management Committee of the relevant division (Miri or Limbang) and must also take the rT-PCR Covid-19 test before starting their assignment.
“The next test must be taken on every 14th day until the next instruction is given.
“For those who need to go through Brunei, they need to comply with all the latest instructions issued by the Brunei Darussalam government,” he said.
For non-Sarawakians and foreigners who are entering Sarawak from Peninsular Malaysia from Oct 4 to 18 onwards, Uggah said they must also apply through the EnterSarawak app and complete and submit the e-Health Declaration Form.
“They will be quarantined for 14 days and the Covid-19 test will be taken on the second and 10th day,” he said, adding that the cost of quarantine and Covid-19 test will be borne by the individuals.
He said Sarawakians who are in Peninsular Malaysia are allowed to return but they too need to apply through EnterSarawak app and submit the e-Health Declaration Form.
“They will be fitted with a wristband and will be quarantined for 14 days and the rT-PCR Covid-19 test will be taken on day two.
“If the test results are negative, they will be allowed to return home to resume the remaining quarantine days and will be given a Home Surveillance Order (HSO),” he said.
He added that they will also be required to go to the nearest Health Clinic to take the rT-PCR test on the 10th day and the cost of the quarantine and test will be borne by the Sarawak government.
On essential services for non-Sarawakians entering Sarawak from Peninsular Malaysia on official duty, he said they would also be required to apply through the EnterSarawak app with a completede-Health Declaration Form in addition to taking the rT-PCR test three days before their flight.
“For Sarawakians under the Essential Services sector and need to undergo official duties in Peninsular Malaysia, they are allowed to enter Peninsular Malaysia but would need to apply through the app and submit the health declaration form.
“They must also get approval from their respective head of department and upload the official letter and invitation letter of the meeting to the EnterSarawak app before they are allowed to return without quarantine at the quarantine centre.
“They will be swabbed once in Sarawak, be fitted with a wristband and will be subjected to HSO until the test results return negative,” he said.
He also said those who have a negative RT-PCR test (valid for 14 days), can upload the negative test result to the EnterSarawak app as well as the official letter and invitation letter to the meeting before they are allowed to return to the state without being quarantined at the quarantine centre.
He added that those who are returning to Sarawak from overseas, the previous standard operating procedures (SOP) applies.
Uggah said the decision made by SDMC was in view of the increasing number of positive Covid-19 cases outside Sarawak daily.
“I mentioned yesterday that Sarawak is surrounded by a ‘ring of fire’ where you have countries like the Philippines which recorded 2,391 new cases and 311,694 total Covid-19 cases as of Sept 30.
“Other countries and states surrounding Sarawak with high Covid-19 cases as of Sept 30 included Indonesia (4,284 new cases; 287,008 total cases), Singapore (23 new cases; 57,765 total cases), Sabah (35 new cases; 1,877 total cases) and Brunei (0 new case; 146 new cases),” he said, noting that Brunei has also tightened the entry of foreigners from their border control posts.
Also present at the press conference were Local Government and Housing Minister Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian and State Health Department director Dr Chin Zin Hing.