KUCHING: The Sarawak government will continue to pay the cost of quarantine and Covid-19 tests for Sarawakians returning to the state from overseas, says Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah (pic).
The Deputy Chief Minister said all those entering the state from overseas were still required to undergo mandatory 14-day quarantine until Aug 31.
They will be tested twice, on the second and 10th day, during the quarantine period, he said.
"We wish to apologise for the inconvenience caused, but this is something we have to do because there have been cases that were detected on the 10th or 11th day of quarantine.
"The Federal Government has decided that the cost of tests for Malaysians coming back from overseas is to be borne by themselves.
"But today I have discussed this with the Chief Minister and he has decided that for Sarawakians returning from overseas and undergoing quarantine here, the state government will bear the cost," Uggah said at the state disaster management committee's briefing here on Tuesday (Aug 18).
He also said no new cases were reported in Sarawak on Tuesday, with the state's tally of confirmed cases remaining at 682.
In addition, one case was discharged from the Sarawak General Hospital, bringing the number of recoveries to 660, while three more people are still being treated in hospital isolation wards.
There are still seven active clusters in the state involving a total of 62 cases.
On Covid-19 standard operating procedures (SOPs), Uggah said it was understood that Sarawak was allowed to adapt those from the Federal Government to suit local conditions, as the state had its own Protection of Public Health Ordinance.
"That's why from time to time, although we follow the SOP from the Federal Government, we can adapt them in Sarawak as long as they don't go against the federal SOP," he said.
Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob had announced earlier Tuesday that state governments must refer to the Federal Government and National Security Council before making decisions on Covid-19 SOPs.
He said this was because states may face difficulty in enforcing certain regulations that were not gazetted by the Federal Government, and their decisions could also be challenged in court.
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