Sarawak should impose 30-day entry ban on Peninsular Malaysians, SUPP Dudong says

A Malaysian health quarantine officer waits for passengers at a thermal screening point at the international arrival terminal of Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang January 21, 2020. — Reuters pic
A Malaysian health quarantine officer waits for passengers at a thermal screening point at the international arrival terminal of Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang January 21, 2020. — Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, March 15 — The Sarawak state government should introduce a 30-day entry ban to stop Peninsular Malaysians from entering the state to contain the spread of the Covid-19 virus, the Dudong branch of political party Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) has reportedly said.

SUPP Dudong secretary Dr Wong Chya Wei said the entry ban was necessary, while also noting that Sarawakians returning to the state must go through supervised quarantine of 14 days and go through random testing.

“The Covid-19 situation now has entered another phase. It is serious that we take urgent and aggressive measures to contain the spread,” he was quoted saying yesterday by local daily Borneo Post.

Dr Wong urged the Sarawak state government to set up test centres throughout the whole state, further urging for all religious gatherings to be suspended and all schools to be closed for 30 days.

“We are lucky that this coming week is the school holiday, but if the infection continues to worsen, the state government should extend the closure of schools,” he was also quoted saying.

Dr Wong had said the total number of Covid-19 cases in Malaysia was expected to continue to increase, as he pointed that 14,500 Malaysians had recently attended a “ijtimak tabligh” gathering at the Jamek Sri Petaling Mosque in Kuala Lumpur between February 28 and March 1 which had been linked to multiple new cases.

The Sarawak state government yesterday said it had managed to track down 311 participants of the religious gathering at the Sri Petaling mosque but believed there could be more, further urging those who have yet to report to the nearest hospital or divisional health office for the Covid-19 screening to do so immediately.

On Friday, Sarawak went from zero cases to three Covid-19 cases, including two who had attended the Kuala Lumpur gathering and one who is a family member.

Yesterday, Sarawak recorded six additional Covid-19 cases who had all attended the Kuala Lumpur gathering, boosting the total tally of such patients in the state to nine.

As of yesterday, Malaysia had a total tally of 238 Covid-19 cases, including 36 who have since fully recovered and 77 who tested positive after attending the Sri Petaling event.

An estimated 16,000 people had attended the gathering, with 14,500 being Malaysians and the rest being foreigners from the region.

More than 30 Covid-19 cases in Brunei are linked to this event, while Singapore also confirmed new cases involving its citizens who had participated in the event.

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