KUCHING: Any individual who has been to Singapore recently must undergo an immediate self-imposed home quarantine for 14 days.
State Disaster Management Committee (JPBN) chairman Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas said, “The decision was made in view of the development in Singapore where, the island republic Disease Outbreak Response System Condition (Dorscon) had issued an Orange warning level over the spread of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) disease.”
According to Dorscon, the level, its second highest, indicates the disease is “severe and spread easily from person to person but it has not spread widely in Singapore and is being contained”.
Yesterday, Uggah who is also Deputy Chief Minister, chaired a meeting with the Foreign Ministry, health, immigration, tourism, police and other departments and agencies to deliberate on the disease’s latest development.
Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian, Deputy State Secretary Datuk Ik Pahon, State Immigration Department director Datuk Ken Leban and State Security and Enforcement Unit director Datuk Dr Chai Khin Cung were among those present at the meeting.
He further mentioned that the occurrence of the coronavirus clusters in Singapore which happened in a church, a medical product shop and a hotel after an international conference was held, was worrying Sarawak.
“The victims ranged from church goers to taxi drivers, private hire drivers, tour guide and a teacher.
“They have not been to China but were affected in these places. Singapore, as at Sunday, has 43 confirmed cases,” he stated.
Uggah further noted that his committee would soon engage with bodies representing the various churches, temples, mosques, the Unit for Other Religions (Unifor), the taxi association, hoteliers association, long distance bus associations and others to rope in their co-operation to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
“We (Sarawak) are still free of the coronavirus. Hence, I appeal to all to give us their unbridled support and co-operation.
“And on the part of JPBN, I announce that we will meet every Monday morning from today (Feb 10) to discuss the disease’s further development and to come up with the state’s strategic preparedness and action plans,” he added.
On the disease’s latest development in the state, Uggah shared that there had been 60 patients under investigation (PUI) cases from Jan 10 to Feb 9.
“We have 43 negative cases and 17 more are pending laboratory testing. Fifteen of these 43 cases involved Malaysian nationals, whom are recorded at the Sarawak General Hospital (SGH), eight at Sibu Hospital, seven in Miri and four in Bintulu.
“For those affecting Chinese nationals, four were recorded at the SGH, two in Sibu and two in Bintulu.
“The sole case involving a Thai national was recorded at SGH,” he said, adding that for the 17 pending cases, 11 involved Malaysians, five Chinese and one Thai.
Dr Sim further urged each Sarawakian to work together in fighting the coronavirus.
“We all must abide by the guidelines and decisions made respectively by our Health Department and the State Disaster Management Committee.
“We must look after our health and must always wash our hands after visiting public places,” he said.