Although there are only about 114 homeless persons in Sarawak, the rough sleepers face an even higher risk from the outbreak of the coronavirus disease.

KUCHING: Homeless people will be placed at designated integrated one-stop centres during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Minister Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah said this measure was taken to ensure that the virus infection curve could be flattened during the movement control order (MCO).

She revealed that as of March 24, 114 homeless people across the state had been rounded up.

“We received information regarding the homeless from the police involved in enforcing the MCO,” she told the press yesterday after visiting hotspots for the homeless.

Fatimah explains the dangers of the Covid-19 virus to a homeless man.

According to state statistics, Kuching had the highest number of homeless people at 44.

This was followed by Sibu (21), Miri (17) and Bintulu (15). Kapit and Sarikei respectively recorded seven while Kota Samarahan, Serian and Betong recorded one  each.

From the figures, 73 per cent of the homeless were male.

Stressing that the centre was not a permanent home for the homeless, Fatimah said such centres would provide necessary assistance, including food and access to showers.

“The homeless will be placed at our one-stop centres, including Anjung Singgah in Kuching and Anggah Singgah, the government rest house in Sibu,

“In Miri, we are still looking for a place for them. The State Disaster Management Committee in Miri is in charge of finding a place for homeless there,” she added.

Fatimah talks to two homeless men.