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COVID-19

Labuan holds virtual roundtable ahead of proposed travel bubble take-off

18/09/2021 05:59 PM

LABUAN, Sept 18 -- The Labuan Disaster Management Committee (LDMC) has hosted a virtual roundtable with community leaders, representatives of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and government officials to gather inputs to prepare for launching the island’s tourism travel bubble programme.

The two-hour discussion last night, led by Labuan Health Department director Dr Ismuni Bohari, was to work out a consensus on the standard operating procedures (SOPs) for the proposed travel bubble take-off.

“We have prepared proposals for the SOPs on the inflow of travellers into the island and received recommendations and inputs from community leaders on the do’s and don’ts.

“It was merely a virtual open discussion and whatever was discussed will be brought up to the central National Security Council (MKN) for approval. We have reached an understanding but no concrete decision has yet been made on the travel bubble SOPs,” Dr Ismuni, who is an LDMC member, told Bernama today.    

He said the SOPs would help to keep COVID-19 at bay and prevent Labuan from falling into difficult times again.

“Being healthcare frontliners, our job is to control the possible spread of the disease. Our concerns are that the influx of travellers to Labuan from all across the country could lead to a setback in the fight against COVID-19 if the SOPs are too relaxed.

“The SOPs must be balanced with island’s economy and public health. We want to strike a balance between saving lives and livelihoods,” he said.

Labuan People’s Representative Council chairman Mohd Dzulfaizal Ab Manan said such discussions would avoid the emergence of a ‘blaming syndrome’ towards the Labuan Health Department and LDMC for any problems in the future.

Labuan Member of Parliament Datuk Rozman Isli, Senator Datuk Bashir Alias, Labuan Bersatu chief Datuk Suhaili Abd Rahman and Labuan Media Practitioners Association representatives also attended the meeting.

Langkawi kicked off the travel bubble programme on Sept 16, months after an interstate travel ban was imposed to curb the spread of COVID-19 infections.

-- BERNAMA

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