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KUCHING, April 11 -- The Sarawak government will consider the suggested scrapping of the 14-day compulsory quarantine for entry into the state if the COVID-19 situation in Malaysia improves, says Deputy Chief Minister, Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas.
Uggah who is also the State Disaster Management Committee (JPBN) chairman, said the number of COVID-19 positive cases was increasing in Sarawak, hence if quarantine were to be terminated, it could worsen the situation.
He said that besides facing the problem of daily transmissions, the entry of illegal immigrants via the Sarawak-Indonesia border was also threatening the current situation in the state as it also contributed to the high number of COVID-19 infections.
“We understand and sympathise (with those family members facing difficulty to return due to the quarantine order) but in the current scenario, we want Sarawakians to also understand the situation.
“In fact, this standard operating procedure is necessary to protect Sarawak, not to discriminate or to stop family members from meeting. This is a very difficult situation, but there will be a time when we feel that it’s no longer necessary...we will lift it,” he told reporters at the JPBN’s daily news conference, here, today.
Earlier, a petition has been made for the Sarawak state government to scrap the 14-day compulsory quarantine as it is seen as burdensome.
The petition also states that most Sarawakians, whether working in the government or private sector, have not been able to return to their families for a long time since the COVID-19 pandemic hit the country.
Today, Sarawak once again recorded a high number of COVID-19 positive cases with 443, bringing the cumulative number in the state to 20,001 cases.
The Sarawak State Health Department also announced three more new clusters, namely the Abak Bon Cluster in Subis, Jalan Badarudin Cluster in Kuching and Nanga Kelangas Cluster in Julau.