KUCHING: The Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) Sarawak has urged those who want to travel to the state to do so only if necessary in view of the ever-present Covid-19 pandemic.
Its chairman Dr Teh Siao Hean said it might be prudent to exercise patience and postpone non-urgent travel to Sarawak until the overall situation improved across the board with news that a vaccine might be available in the foreseeable future.
“Returning Sarawakians and other travellers under hotel and home quarantine should adhere strictly to the conditions imposed for their own safety and also that of their loved ones.
“With the ongoing school holidays and upcoming Christmas and New Year festive holidays, many Sarawakians are returning to the state from Peninsular Malaysia and Sabah.
“Of particular concern is the fact that most will be returning from areas with higher rates of transmission and cases and also from other states where the travel restrictions have been eased,” he said in a press statement on Wednesday (Dec 16).
Teh pointed out that current quarantine rules, restriction of travel and other regulations by the State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) had helped to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and kept most of Sarawak green.
“While these quarantine measures may be viewed as inconvenient and bothersome by returnees, we support them. At present, Sarawak has the lowest number of new cases.
“However, we must be mindful that the risk of inadvertent transmission to family members and close contacts from a returnee is ever present,” he said, adding that the state’s healthcare and quarantine resources were limited and a new wave of imported cases spreading to the community might overwhelm the state’s health resources.
Teh added the association applauded the contributions and sacrifices of healthcare workers, other frontliners and also the state government in combating the spread of Covid-19.
“Those who are ill should seek immediate care and those who are close contacts with known cases must come forward to be tested.
“We must not be complacent. We need to continue following all the SOPs (standard operating procedures) and regulations,” he added.