Ensure workers returning from China free from Wuhan virus, Sarawak PKR tells state govt

Sulok Tawie
Sarawak PKR vice chairman Voon Shiak Ni (left) said many China nationals wll return to Sarawak to resume their work after the Chinese New Year holiday, January 27, 2020. — Picture by Sulok Tawi

KUCHING, Jan 27 — Sarawak PKR vice-chairman Voon Shiak Ni today asked the state government to take steps to ensure that Chinese nationals returning to work in Sarawak after the Chinese New Year holiday are free from the Wuhan coronavirus.

She said many of the workers are operating eateries, retail businesses, and reflexology centres in Sarawak.

“After Chinese New Year, we will see many of them returning to Sarawak to resume their work and livelihood here and their presence will be a grave concern to the local communities,” she said in a statement.

She asked what measures in place are being taken by the state government and the health authorities to ensure this.

“Is the health screening at main entry points is enough to detect people who are infected?” she asked.

Despite the public’s call for a blanket ban, Voon said based on past experiences during the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak in 2003 and Ebola epidemic in 2014, the imposition of travel bans was not effective in halting international spread of diseases or limit the spread of the diseases.

“But I am personally of the opinion that a temporary ban on influx of China nationals can reduce the exposure of our people to high risk groups for the moment as an urgent measure to contain the spread of the virus into our country,” she said.

Putrajaya had earlier issued a temporary ban on the entry of Chinese citizens from Wuhan and the Hubei province.

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