Inter-district travel picks up pace in Sarawak ahead of June 1 Gawai Dayak hols

  • Nation
  • Friday, 29 May 2020

Public transport being sanitised throughout Sarawak to prevent Covid-19 infections. Sarawak Bomba pic

MIRI: Thousands are applying to the police for permission to travel across district borders throughout Sarawak ahead of the Gawai Dayak holidays that begin on June 1.

Community leaders told The Star on Friday (May 29) that the next two days will see a surge in applications received by the police for travel between districts.

"In big places like Kuching and Miri, there may be an exodus of rural migrant workers even though Covid-19 is still a worry," said Nicholas Jok of Baram.

The latest data from the police showed that on Thursday (May 28), 6,162 travellers sought written permission from the police district headquarters in 28 districts statewide.

It is learnt that these travellers were intending to drive across the districts they are working in to get back to their hometowns.

Even though house-to-house visiting is banned due to the Covid-19 pandemic, travelling back to hometowns is still permitted for family reunion only, said the State Disaster Relief Management Committee.

The committee has already announced two days ago that "ngabang" - or social gatherings - are banned this Gawai.

In the meantime, the special units involved in public sanitising operations are operating late into the night and wee hours every day in Kuching and Miri and towns like Sibu and Bintulu and rural bazaars in the 14 divisions in Sarawak.

These joint teams are made up of personnel from the Sarawak Fire and Rescue Department, Army, Police, Rela, Civil Defence Unit, Health Department, local districts and city councils as well as community volunteers.

At this point, over 800 operations have been conducted throughout the state, Sarawak Bomba said in its latest updates.

Sarawak Bomba is the lead agency in the sanitisation operations.

The sanitisation operations teams have so far covered government buildings, public market complexes, shopping malls, religious buildings and places of worship, housing estates, commercial centres, community halls, transport hubs and stations, hotels and industrial sites.

The most number of sanitisation exercises were done in Kuching, followed by Miri.

Kuching has a population of about 650,000 while Miri has about 350,000.

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