Divide Kuching into zones too


KUCHING: The Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) has requested the Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM) to divide Kuching into zones similar to Sibu’s strategy in an effort to improve Covid-19 enforcement.

“We want to review our enforcement throughout Sarawak — starting first with Kuching,” said SDMC chairman Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas at the committee’s Covid-19 update press conference today (Feb 19).

He said on Monday, Sarawak Police Commissioner Datuk Aidi Ismail will present his new plan and various agencies such as the People’s Volunteer Corps (Rela), Civil Defence Force (APM), army, and neighbourhood watch committees would be mobilised to control the Covid-19 situation in Kuching.

On another matter, he said the Sibu Divisional Disaster Management Committee (DDMC) had been advised that once the Covid-19 figures in each zone there reached 15, an enhanced movement control order (EMCO) or active case detection (ACD) should be implemented.

He said if the cases were concentrated in a specific location such as a market, then they were advised to conduct more extensive testing in that area via an ACD operation.

He said zones in Sibu that recorded a high number of cases today were Tiong Hua Zone, Sentosa Zone, Permai Zone, and Sibu Jaya Zone.

“It appears that the infections are already sporadic — reflecting that there is community spread. So we advise residents in Sibu who feel unwell or have certain symptoms to report for screening at clinics or screening locations,” he said.

“We decided to use the EMCO method so that we can focus on areas and zones which start to show higher numbers,” said Uggah, who is also Deputy Chief Minister. 

He said it was wise for Sibu DDMC to implement the EMCO at the Sibu Jaya flats as this had helped to reduce the number of cases over the past few days.

Responding to a question on concerns regarding shortage of manpower and equipment at Sibu Hospital, he said state Health Department (JKNS) director Dr Chin Zin Hing had looked into the matter.

“Not only that; we submitted our proposal to Kuala Lumpur in November — not only for Sibu but all the hospitals in Sarawak. There has been positive development,” he said.

He said Sibu’s intensive care unit (ICU), which currently has a capacity of 17, would have another 13 added.

“Dr Chin will continue to look at the requirements of Sibu and so will the state and federal governments. Sibu has also requested some support for their ACD operations and so on, and Dr Chin will mobilise some staff members from outside Sibu,” he said.

On longhouses in Sibu, he said 114 in total had been infected with Covid-19 and thus been placed under lockdown.

“As of today (Jan 19), 51 longhouses are still under lockdown while the other 63 have been released because there were no more cases after the second and third rounds of testing,” he said.

Uggah said 248 longhouses throughout Sarawak had undergone quarantine, of which 98 were still under quarantine while the rest had been released.

“The infections among the longhouses seem to have subsided and we hope that residents there would continue to be cautious,” he said.

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