Don’t use longhouse as quarantine centre for Covid-19 PUI, NGO tells Sarawak govt

Sulok Tawie
·2-min read
The Covid-19 low-risk quarantine and treatment centre (PKRC) in Dewan Perbadanan Labuan, October 29, 2020. SPA chairman Datuk John Lau Pang Heng today urged the SDMC not to designate longhouses as quarantine centres for those returning from high-risk areas in Peninsular Malaysia and Sabah. — Bernama pic
The Covid-19 low-risk quarantine and treatment centre (PKRC) in Dewan Perbadanan Labuan, October 29, 2020. SPA chairman Datuk John Lau Pang Heng today urged the SDMC not to designate longhouses as quarantine centres for those returning from high-risk areas in Peninsular Malaysia and Sabah. — Bernama pic

KUCHING, Jan 18 — Sarawak Patriots Association (SPA) chairman Datuk John Lau Pang Heng today urged the state Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) not to designate longhouses as quarantine centres for those returning from high-risk areas in Peninsular Malaysia and Sabah.

He said the Pasai Siong cluster should serve as a lesson on why longhouses should not be used as quarantine centres for persons-under-investigation (PUIs) for Covid-19.

Lau said many people that he talked to had agreed that an index case in the Pasai Siong cluster should not have been allowed to be quarantined at longhouse since she had returned from Johor Baru via Kuala Lumpur, as both are states considered high Covid-19 risk areas.

“We feel that Sarawakians returning from high risks areas need to be quarantined in isolated places where there are proper facilities to control the spread of Covid-19 virus,” Lau said when commenting on a large number of Covid-19 positive cases in the Pasai Siong cluster.

As of yesterday, the Pasai Siong cluster had recorded 599 positive cases out of 1,800 individuals who were tested.

Lau also urged authorities to discourage Sarawakians working in Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore and Sabah from returning home for the Chinese New Year, Hari Raya Puasa and the Gawai Dayak celebrations over the next six months.

“However, on a case-to-case basis, if the return is unavoidable and compulsory, then those from high-risk areas should be quarantined at isolated places based on the strict SOP set by SDMC,” he said.

He said during the upcoming festive occasions, family members can wish each other online, adding that it is just a temporary sacrifice that is necessary for all before the vaccine is proven to be effective.

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