Targeted EMCO to be implemented in targeted areas in Sarawak in lieu of MCO, says CM

Members of the armed forces install the barbed wires around one of the EMCO-imposed areas in Bintulu. — Borneo Post Online file pic
Members of the armed forces install the barbed wires around one of the EMCO-imposed areas in Bintulu. — Borneo Post Online file pic

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KUCHING, April 19 — A targeted enhanced movement control order (EMCO) will be implemented in targeted areas across the state in lieu of the movement control order (MCO), said Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg.

He said after factoring all the concerns and risk assessment, the State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) has decided to maintain its effort to implement targeted EMCO operations as these have proven to be successful in containing the longhouse, neighborhood and workplace Covid-19 spread.

“The debate of imposing an MCO versus CMCO (conditional movement control order) is heated lately. But by implementing MCO for Sarawak, this will burden many industries and destroy the livelihood of many.

“I assure you that SDMC has done its evaluation on the ground and have explained that during their experience with MCO in Sibu, they were bogged down by a number of issues namely in enforcement efforts,” he told a press conference.

The state is currently under the CMCO from April 13 to 26 in light of the current trend of increase in several areas namely Sibu, Bintulu and Miri.

Abang Johari said he has instructed enforcement agencies to tighten inter-district travel control in the state after evaluating the local situation of increasing Import C cases.

“Inter-district travel is one of the main contributors of Covid-19 transmissions in Sarawak. To date, there are 506 positive cases detected and eight clusters were formed due to inter-district travel (Import C) since January this year.

 “I have instructed the police, State Enforcement and Security Unit (UKPN), Malaysian Armed Forces (ATM), Malaysia Civil Defence Force (APM) and People’s Volunteer Corps (Rela) to tighten inter-district travel control and starting today, only essential services are allowed to cross zones with the permission of the police,” he said.

He also said that the state will continue its mandatory 14-day quarantine for those entering Sarawak to avoid more imported cases.

“Since January, the 14-day quarantine policy had recorded 60 positive cases returning from overseas (Import A) and 270 positive cases returning from other states (Import B) in the country. They were all quarantined at the hotel,” he said.

Abang Johari pointed out that other factors that contributed to the rise of Covid-19 cases were linked to the lack of standard operating procedure (SOP) compliance especially through social gatherings.

“To date, gatherings such as funerals had reported 3,612 positive cases from eight clusters with 31 deaths.

“Other gatherings such as family gatherings, birthday parties, farewell parties, festive gatherings, events like gotong-royong and cock fighting, had resulted in 22 clusters, 1,053 positive cases and five deaths,” he disclosed.

He said even though enforcement agencies are doing their part to enforce the law by issuing compounds to those who flout the law, the people are urged to comply with the SOP at all times.

“Only with the cooperation and awareness by the public we have done in the past can we win the fight against Covid-19 and God willing, we will win.

“For as long as the vaccine is not available, the entire world will have to live with Covid-19. Therefore I would like to urge everyone to remain vigilant, stay health, stay safe and adhere to the SOPs,” he stressed.

Also present at the press conference were Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas and Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian. — Borneo Post Online

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