Guard the borders to prevent the spread of virus variants

Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian

KUCHING: Sarawak must fortify the security at its borders to prevent emerging Covid-19 variants from spreading into the state.

Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian said this was after the detection of the South African Covid-19 variant reported by Universiti Malaysia Sarawak’s (Unimas) researchers.

“The South African variant landed in Kuching from West Malaysia. Wonder how long before the Indian variant will be here.

“The virus doesn’t move; people move,” he said in a Facebook post on Thursday, commenting on the Covid-19 variant of concern (VOC) in Sarawak.

Dr Sim said with the new variants, it has increased infectivity and it is not known whether the severity of the infections will be increased.

He said with the strict policy to enter Sarawak which includes 14-day quarantine, has received a lot of resentment from the people.

“We beg your understanding not to enter Sarawak temporary from places with lots of cases to protect your parents, your friends and Sarawak from new variants. Please look after Sarawak,” he said.

Dr Sim added that being full vaccinated does not mean a person will be immune to Covid-19. 

“Even the best vaccines only give you 95 percent efficacy which means for every 100 vaccinated, five will be not effective. For every 10,000 vaccinated, 500 will be not effective. 

“Emerging new variants resulted in patients getting infected even after two vaccine doses.  We must guard our borders as otherwise, even after vaccination Sarawak, will have an outbreak again,” he said.