By Karen Bong
KUCHING, Nov 18: Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan has urged for close and careful scrutiny of travel movement between Lawas and Sabah following an increase in imported Covid-19 cases being reported of late.
After several Covid-19 cases linked to returnees from Sabah were detected in Lawas since early this month, the State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) has instructed aggressive active case detection (ACD) to be carried out over two days, starting today (Nov 18), for more than 1,000 residents of Kampung Banting.
Awang Tengah thus strongly advised people in Lawas against travelling to Sabah and vice versa during this critical period unless it was very necessary.
“I want them to be strict in regards to movement between Lawas and Sabah during this time unless it is very necessary.
“This is because we are very close to Sabah and the (Covid-19) cases have increased in Sabah. So that’s why the movement of our people to Sabah must be restricted,” he said in a recorded message today.
More importantly, Awang Tengah who is also Bukit Sari assemblyman, emphasised that people from Sabah coming into Lawas needed to be scrutinised.
“Those suspected (persons under surveillance or investigation) must be quarantined.
“Those who need to move in between Lawas and Sabah must comply with the SOP (standard operating procedures). If they need to be quarantined, they should comply,” he added.
He also stressed that enforcement along the border as well as “jalan tikus” or illegal routes must be tightened.
“We must be very strict without compromise so that we can contain the spread of Covid-19 in Sarawak including Lawas,” he added.
Meanwhile, a major Covid-19 ACD operation is currently ongoing in Lawas.
According to Limbang Division Disaster Management Committee chairman and Resident Ir Ahmad Denny Ahmad Fauzi, in a local daily report, all samples collected will be sent by helicopter to Bintulu Hospital for testing by Friday.
A team of 120 people from the Ministry of Health, Resident’s Office, Lawas District Office, Civil Defence Force, Rela and the police were mobilised to man the ACD operation.
Ahmad Denny thus appealed to everyone in the targeted group to turn up and undergo the screening.
He had also instructed for enforcement to be tightened at the entry points into Lawas, particularly screening those entering from Sabah through Merapok Immigration post in Lawas.
The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) has also been called upon to closely monitor along with the rivers while the General Operations Force (GOF) has been told to snub out illegal routes at Merapok, Patarikan, and Kampung Munchu in Lawas. – DayakDaily