KUCHING: The State Disaster Management Committee’s decision to continue the mandatory 14-day quarantine of people returning to Sarawak from overseas has proven beneficial in detecting positive Covid-19 cases.
SDMC chairman Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas on Sunday (Jun 28) said one positive case had been detected in Sarawak, bringing the total number of Covid-19 cases statewide to 571.
He said the patient, a 32-year-old local man, returned to the state from the United Kingdom and was undergoing his 14-day quarantine at Sibu Premier Hotel.
“The patient flew into Kuala Lumpur International Airport from London on Jun 17. He then entered Sarawak through Sibu Airport on Jun 18 and underwent quarantine.
“In Kuala Lumpur, Malaysians returning to the country only had to take their Rapid Test Kit (RTK) tests and undergo home quarantine. But in Sarawak, it is compulsory for people who had returned from overseas to undergo their 14-day quarantine even after being quarantined for two or three days in Kuala Lumpur.
“We can see that this policy had enabled us to detect positive cases. If they were to undergo home quarantine, we do not know where they would have gone to and interact with other people, endangering their lives,” he explained.
Uggah said this when met by reporters after inspecting the implementation of COVIDTrace at Aeon Mall Kuching Central, here on Sunday.
He said it was fortunate that SDMC had decided to maintain the 14-day quarantine policy and testing policy.
“A few examples of this include the detection of a positive case in Bintulu — a man who returned from Mexico — and also a woman who returned from Tunisia,” he said.
Uggah noted that there were also some people who felt that the policy was unacceptable. However, he reminded that its implementation was done on account of the safety of the people.
“Just imagine if this person had undergone home quarantine — how many people in the household would be exposed to Covid-19. These are the issues that we are very concerned about. So, we continue to be very vigilant,” he said.
A statement by SDMC announced that Sibu Division had been classified as a yellow zone following the detection of the case.
SDMC also noted that the total number of patients discharged remained at 537 or 94.05 percent after no Covid-19 patients were discharged from hospitals statewide.
“There are 19 new cases of persons under investigation (PUI) and four are currently awaiting laboratory test results,” said the statement issued today.