Covid-19: No more home quarantines, S'wak lawmaker urges after Rumah Langgi superspreader case

SIBU: A lawmaker has called for all returnees to the state to be placed in quarantine centres instead of being allowed to return home after a Covid-19 superspreader infected 37 longhouse residents in Rumah Langgi.

The woman from the Pasai cluster was allowed to self-quarantine in the longhouse after returning from Johor on Dec 29 to attend her father's funeral service.

Seventy-four residents from her longhouse were screened with 37 positive cases two days after the woman tested positive on Wednesday (Jan 6) at the Jalan Lanang Health Clinic.

Bukit Assek assemblyman Irene Chang said there should also be no exemption allowed for anyone, be they a minister or an ordinary man on the street to be placed in quarantine centres.

"Home quarantines cannot be allowed in any circumstances. And if quarantined centres are not readily available, a lockdown should be put in place with only limited incoming and outgoing flights," she said in a statement on Sunday (Jan 10).

Chang said the 37 cases was an expensive lesson to learn on the wrong policy of home quarantine.

With only two more cases before Sibu turns into a red zone, she urged the state Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) to liase with the Education Ministry to prepare to postpone the reopening of the schools on Jan 20.

Chang said with the record high of 55 cases on Saturday (Jan 9) in Sarawak, SDMC should implement some fast and bold decisions in the management of the Covid-19 pandemic in Sarawak to avoid another Selangor or Johor or Sabah.

"We need to arrest these figures before they soar to three or four digits on the daily count. And the only way to regain control is to make fast decisions which are bold and decisive and even if they might be unpopular with the people," she said.

"For as long as the pandemic is still around and the tried and tested vaccine is still not readily available, there can be no relaxation of the basic rules of social distancing, no large gatherings, masks to be worn at all times and hands to be washed regularly. This should still be strictly observed even in the green zones," she said.

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