Khirudin holding up sign #Stay At Home, Stay Safe. #We On Standby For Your Safety. #Pray For Frontliner. #Pray For Malaysia."

KUCHING: Twelve firefighters are currently identified as person under surveillance (PUS) for Covid-19, said State Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba) director PKPjB Khirudin Drahman.

He stated, “As of date, no firefighters in Sarawak are identified as positive Covid-19.

“However, twelve of our personnel are now quarantined as PUS, suspected to be infected.

“The personnel are mainly from Kuching and Samarahan, most of them have self-declared quarantine after coming back from overseas such as Japan, Mecca and Korea.

“So far, all of them have tested negative but are placed under PUS as precaution.”

Khirudin further noted that the fire department is assisting the frontliners to enforce the movement control order (MCO).

“We have stationed 350 firefighters per shift throughout Sarawak, to help the other frontliners in enforcing the order until April 14.

“All 32 fire and rescue stations have been instructed to be on standby to respond to any cases involving Covid-19,” he mentioned when contacted yesterday.

When asked on the common problems faced by Bomba against this pandemic, he said they included limited personal protective equipment (PPE).

“So far, we only have masks, nitrile gloves and type-C suits. Of course, we have made suggestions to the relevant ministries to have more PPEs supplied to us.

“This (Covid-19) is a disaster and our resources are meant for normal incidents such as accidents, fire, search and rescue.

“The new procurement is on its way and the state’s assistance is much needed,” he told.

On the ongoing disinfection programme, Khirudin mentioned that every disinfection work will involve a maximum of 10 personnel.

“We will try to minimise the number of our firefighters involved out of precaution.

“Since March 30, we have already carried out 22 of 52 places planned for disinfection works in public areas,” he said.