Covid-19: Sarawak imposes 14-day stay home notice on travellers, school holidays extended

Sarawak Chief Minister, Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg when met by the media after launching the Wawasan Ummah Gemilang 2020, in Kuching March 4, 2020. — Bernama pic
Sarawak Chief Minister, Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg when met by the media after launching the Wawasan Ummah Gemilang 2020, in Kuching March 4, 2020. — Bernama pic

KUCHING, Match 16 — Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg today said that the state government is taking several strict control measures to prevent further escalation of Covid-19, by extending the school holidays and imposing a mandatory 14 days stay home notice for visitors to Sarawak. 

He said the state government had decided to take such stringent measures in Sarawak as the number of Covid-19 positive cases increased from 20 yesterday to 34 today. 

“All visitors (foreign and domestic) coming into Sarawak and returning Sarawakians, will be issued with a 14-day, Stay Home Notice (SHN). This will include Sarawak residents, long-term and short-term pass holders and will be implemented on March 18.

“The relevant agencies will monitor the Stay Home Notice holders through random visits, phone calls and modern technology applications,” he added.

However, Abang Johari said exemptions can be given only by the State Health Department to those who are required to travel under special circumstances (official and business duties).

The chief minister also said all Sarawak government official functions, involving more than 50 persons will be cancelled or postponed until further notice.

“Any public functions, involving more than 50 persons are strongly advised to be postponed or cancelled until further notice,” he said.

Abang Johari also said all tabika, taska and Sekolah Tahfiz in Sarawak, are instructed to close for two weeks, effective tomorrow, March 17.

He said institutions of higher education, both government and private, are to defer their new academic session by two weeks, effective tomorrow.

“All schools are instructed to extend their school holidays for another week, till March 29.

“All public sports facilities including swimming pools, stadiums and gymnasium are to be closed effective tomorrow, until further notice,” he said.

The chief minister urged everyone to practise the highest standard of personal hygiene and to strictly practise social distancing.

The chief minister also warned against spreading or posting fake news or unverified information on social media.

He said the state disaster management committee had advised the public to stop spreading fake or unverified news on social media/social messenger platforms.

He stressed that police and the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) will not hesitate to act against those found sharing fake news. 

“All suspects will be investigated under Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act (CMA) 1998, which provides a maximum fine of RM50,000, or imprisonment for up to a year, or both, and shall also be liable to a further fine of RM1,000 for every day during which the offence is continued after conviction,” he said. 

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