More Sibu hotels to act as quarantine centres

ANOTHER three hotels in Sibu with a combined total of more than 400 rooms have agreed to become quarantine hotels for Covid-19 PUS (persons under surveillance).

This brings the number of hotels used for quarantine purposes to six.

The other three are Premier Hotel, Kawan Hotel and Sarawak Hotel, with a total of 309 rooms.

Premier Hotel has been a quarantine centre since the first movement control order in March 2020.

Sibu was put under the MCO again on Jan 16 following a rise in Covid-19 cases.

These additional rooms are to take in returnees from outside Sarawak when the MCO on Sibu is lifted on Jan 29.

The agreement was made at a dialogue session organised by Bawang Assan SUPP chairman Robert Lau and Sarawak Central Region Hotels Association on Jan 15. The objective of the dialogue was to inform hoteliers in Sibu about the requirements for a quarantine centre for PUS.

The need for more hotels as quarantine centres came up following a spike in cases in Sibu.

Many of the cases were traced to a 32-year-old woman who came back from Johor on Dec 29 last year to attend her father’s funeral. She was ordered to quarantine at her longhouse, Rumah Langi, due to the lack of quarantine facility.

She was found Covid-19 positive on Jan 6, by which time she had infected scores of people at the longhouse and those who attended the funeral.

According to the Sarawak Disaster Management Committee, 43 new cases were reported in Sibu on Jan 17, mostly from the Pasai Cluster.

At the dialogue, Lau urged more hotel owners to consider turning their hotels into quarantine centres in Sibu to cope with the expected increase in travellers coming in once flights were allowed to resume.

Assistant Resident of Sibu Division, Wong Hee Sieng agreed.

“Currently there is no flight to Sibu during the MCO except for internal flights (between Kuching, Bintulu and Miri).

“PUS are people who return to Sarawak via Sibu Airport. They will have to undergo 14 days quarantine, ” he said, adding that more hotel rooms were needed to house these returnees.

Borneo Medical Centre’s managing director Dr Peter Tang, who was at the dialogue, shared some of the current research into the pandemic.

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