Only family members allowed for funerals

Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas

KUCHING: All types of gatherings and social activities are prohibited in movement control order (MCO) and conditional movement control order (CMCO) areas in Sarawak with immediate effect.

Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) chairman Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas said this applied to all, including weddings, engagements, receptions, aqiqah (baby-welcoming ritual), thanksgivings, tahlil (prayer for deceased), birthdays, anniversaries, reunions, retreats and so on.

“For funeral ceremonies, only immediate family members are allowed and they must inform the District Office and the police for the purpose of public control.

“Guidelines for funeral services can be obtained from the Unit for Other Religions (Unifor),” he told a Covid-19 daily press conference today.

Uggah also informed that the committee had set up community policing programme consisting of community leaders, village heads, Village Development and Security Committees (JKKK), counselors, the People’s Volunteer Corps (Rela), Malaysian Armed Forces (ATM) Veterans, police retirees and Neighbourhood Watch (KRT).

The programme was created to empower community leaders and village heads to monitor, coordinate and organise activities in their respective villages or longhouses in compliance with the standard operating procedures (SOPs) set to curb Covid-19 spread, apart from implementing any form of restriction, warning or detention based on existing law.

He explained that the decisions were made in view of increasing trend of Covid-19 cases spread by the attendees from such gatherings.

“Some of the positive cases reported involved an entire family because one of the family members had returned from a gathering and then spread the virus to the whole family.

“Therefore, I appeal to everyone to please do your part in observing SOPs and take care of your health.”

He pointed out that Sarawak was currently surrounded by ‘a ring of fire’ as Indonesia, Malaya and Sabah also faced a surge in cases.

“So we don’t want to be dragged into the same situation. We have done it in the past — first wave, second wave and third wave — and I believe we can do it again this time. What we need is cooperation, commitment, collaboration and sacrifice from every Sarawakian.

“We from the Gabungan Parti Sarawak government will do our part to provide what is needed by the frontliners, for all operations, border control, and in ensuring that contact tracing process is done rapidly.

“We will also add the number of screening capacity so that the waiting time for Covid-19 test results can be reduced to less than 36 hours.”