Abang Johari field questions from reporters after visiting the Taman Desa Wira evacuation centre in Batu Kawa, Kuching. Photo: Mohd Alif Noni

KUCHING: Flood victims will undergo Covid-19 tests if there is a need, says Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.

He said the Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) was monitoring every temporary relief centre (PPS).

“I have already instructed SDMC to monitor each relief centre to avoid the spread of Covid-19.

“For flood victims who are currently under the Home Surveillance and Observation Order (HSO), their stay at the relief centres would be separated from others.

“This is necessary to ensure the safety of all flood victims at the relief centres,” he said when met by reporters after visiting PPS Kamaruddin Community Hall at Kampung Segedup here on Thursday (Jan 14).

He said those under HSO who are found positive would be referred to the Ministry of Health (MoH) for further action.

He asserted that the Health Department was closely monitoring flood victims at the evacuation centres.

“Health department staff assigned at the evacuation centres had undergone Covid-19 tests.

“If there are any infected victims, we are given advice by the MoH and they will determine further action and we will separate the victims from the others.

“We already have the standard operating procedure (SOP) and the Resident’s Office is guided by the SOP set by SDMC.

“Decisions related to the matter is whether to conduct Covid-19 screening tests on flood victims at the evacuation centres and the isolation of the victims under the quarantine order will be done by SDMC.”

Abang Johari also said stricter precautionary measures for evacuation process had been prepared by SDMC.

He urged food victims at evacuation centres to strictly observe the SOP. 

“This is not going to be an ordinary flood evacuation, but with Covid-19 around.

“Though it is that time of the year with heavy rain, non-stop rain for the last 24 hours have resulted in floods in many areas in Kuching

“To minimise the people staying close together in evacuation centres, I hope flood victims who live in two-storey houses, if only the ground floor is flooded, please stay in the house if it is safe.

“They will still be registered as flood victims and are entitled to receive assistance,” he added.