Sarawak: Considering EMCO for Covid-19 hotspots in Kuching

Sarawak: Considering EMCO for Covid-19 hotspots in Kuching

KUCHING: The Sarawak government may look into the possibility of enforcing the Enhanced Movement Control Order (ECMO) in certain hotspots in Kuching District where the number of Covid-19 positive cases are high.

“If certain areas need to be in total lockdown, and if the situation warrants it, we will do it. But so far, we have not reached that level yet,” said Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah (pix) at a press conference yesterday.

He said although Kuching had been designated as a a red zone (Covid-19 positive cases more than 40), the situation here was still under control and people are being constantly reminded to stay at home during the current MCO period.

Abdul Karim represented Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas at the press conference on the daily update of Covid-19.

He was asked if there were plans by Sarawak to enforce ECMO due to rising number of positive Covid-19 cases.

The State Disaster Management Committiee (HPBN) Sarawak, on Thursday, had released the 11 localities in Kuching identified as Covid-19 ‘hotspots’.

Kampung Datuk Ibrahim Majid and Bandar Baharu Datuk Ibrahim Majid in Simpang Renggam, Johor were the first two areas in Malaysia to be placed under the EMCO, having recorded 61 positive Covid-19 cases.

Under the EMCO there, running from March 27 to April 9, all residents and people already in the two areas are not allowed to leave, and nobody is allowed to enter.

All business activities in the two areas are ordered to be closed, while all entrances into the areas are also be closed.

A medical base has also been opened, while food and other essential items would be supplied to the residents by the Welfare Department.

Earlier while briefing the media, Abdul Karim had mentioned that the southern region of Sarawak registered the highest number of Covid-19 cases, particularly in Kuching and Samarahan divisions.

He pointed out this was due to proximity of these two divisions, whereby there were still lots of movements of people especially from Samarahan to Kuching during this MCO period, due to work factor and the need to buy essentials in Kuching.

“There are not many road options for Kuching-Samarahan route. And the road (Samarahan Expressway) usually has high traffic, even after 7pm these days probably because they work in shifts in the essential services sector.

“But we cannot be too strict because many are staying in Samarahan, but working in Kuching. We want to advise those who are not working in essential sectors, to stay at home and don’t go out unnecessarily,” he said.

On a related matter, Abdul Karim said the police had arrested 32 people who had flouted the MCO on Friday (April 3).

They comprised eight arrests in Miri, four in Kuching, three in Kota Samarahan, two in Bau, one in Padawan, one in Bintulu and one in Serian.

“The rate of compliance with the MCO in Sarawak is at 95%,” he added.

He also said a total 26 individuals were charged in court on Friday, with Sibu having the most cases with 12, followed by Miri with four cases, Lubok Antu (three), Padawan (two), Song (two), Bintulu (one), Kanowit (one) and Matu Daro (one).

Abdul Karim also reminded Sarawakians that effective today, those returning from overseas must be quarantined at the gazetted quarantine centres based on their respective landing situations in Sarawak. — TheBorneoPost

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