Uggah (centre) speaks at the press conference. He is flanked by Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian (left) and Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Minister Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah.

KUCHING: Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas has emphasised that, for the time being, only schools and educational institutions in Kuching District will be closed.

“Kuching District is certainly close to the districts of Serian, Lundu, and Kota Samarahan, so it is a very delicate situation.

“But the Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) will continue to observe and monitor, and if necessary, we will take further action,” he said.

He was responding to a question during the SDMC Covid-19 update press conference today.

He was told some parents were worried about sending their children to SMK Sungai Tapang due to its proximity to the Baki Cluster area.

Uggah, who is also SDMC chairman, assured that schools in Kampung Haji Baki would be closed.

He said the committee would follow the decision made by the Education Ministry (MoE) earlier on on the closure of schools and educational institutions in Kuching District from Oct 30 to Nov 13.

“This will involve 209 educational institutions throughout Kuching District, including primary and secondary schools under the Ministry of Education (MoE), Teacher’s Education Institutes, matriculation colleges, and private schools registered with the MoE,” he said. 

Uggah also announced that all tuition centres, tadika (kindergartens), and taska (nurseries) in Kuching District would be closed from tomorrow until Nov 13 as well.

He revealed that the Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM) issued 16 compound notices today – seven in Kuching, five in Padawan,, three in Miri and one in Betong.

He added that the Ministry of Local Government and Housing issued 105 verbal, written, and seizure warnings in areas under the supervision of various local councils.

On Ops Benteng, he said 1,691 vehicles were inspected at seven roadblocks in six districts – two in Lawas and one each in Lundu, Bau, Serian, Sri Aman, and Lubok Antu.

Uggah urged the public to play their part to ensure that the spread of Covid-19 could be curbed.

“However, we still see that there are some people who are not complying with the standard operating procedures (SOPs) as directed,” he said, warning that the authorities would take strict action against those who flouted the rules.

In the light of the red status of Kuching District, he urged the public to avoid moving between districts to curb the spread of the virus. He also advised them to stay at home if there was no urgent need to go out.

“We can win this war against Covid-19 if all parties play their respective roles,” he said.