Sarawak Disaster Management Committee to check on health of palm oil workers

Uggah urged Sarawakian plantations to monitor their workers for Covid-19. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Uggah urged Sarawakian plantations to monitor their workers for Covid-19. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

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KUCHING, March 25 — The Sarawak Disaster Management Committee will instruct the divisional disaster committee to get reports from palm oil plantations and mills to monitor their workers for the Covid-19 infection, its chairman Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah said today.

“I want the plantations and mills to monitor their workers and I will ask the divisional disaster committees to get the reports from the plantations and mills in the next one or two days,” he told reporters.

“First, we want to know the number of foreign workers each plantation company or oil mill has and secondly, we want to know on the health status of these workers, such as where they come from and when they come to Sarawak and we want to know their travel history,” he said.

Uggah, who is also the Deputy Minister, stressed that the state government’s policy is to detect potential threats as soon as possible.

“After we have identified the problems or clusters, we want to cut the flow of Covid- 19 transmissions in Sarawak,” he said.

Uggah said plantations and mills can help to ensure the spread of the disease is stopped.

“So I urge the plantations to get the details of these workers and in that way, we can monitor if any one of them has contracted the virus.

“This has happened in Sabah where Covid-19 positive cases involved Indonesian workers in the oil palm plantations,” he said.

Uggah said the disaster committee must be vigilant as workers coming in could be the potential sources of Covid-19.

“If Sarawakians are coming back from Indonesia, we have decided to quarantine them for 14 days.

“We have to stop the Indonesian workers from coming back to work at the plantations because we don’t know the situation on the other side of the border.

“As you know, a high percentage of positive cases are imported into Sarawak, involving those who have travelled outside the state,” he added.

He said second and third generations of positive cases in Sarawak are all related to the imported cases.

Uggah said he and his team will be visiting palm oil plantations and mills in Bau and Lundu areas this afternoon to ensure implementation of the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) as laid out by the government is strictly complied with.

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