Covid-19: Additional SOPs for five Sarawak divisions as cases surge

KUCHING: Additional standard operating procedures (SOP) for the conditional movement control order in five divisions in Sarawak will come into force on Wednesday (April 21), says Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah.

The Deputy Chief Minister said the new guidelines were recommended by Kuching, Betong, Sibu, Bintulu and Miri divisions as a "circuit breaker" to manage the Covid-19 pandemic.

"The state disaster management committee has accepted their recommendations. The updated SOP will be available on the National Security Council's website," he said at the committee's Covid-19 briefing here on Tuesday (April 20).

This comes as Sarawak reported 600 new cases on Tuesday, topping the nation's list for the second day in a row.

Districts which recorded cases were Bintulu with 110, Sibu (98), Kuching (83), Meradong (54), Kapit (41), Tatau (38), Mukah (31), Sarikei (25), Miri (24), Song (20), Kanowit (13), Serian and Betong (10 each), Beluru (seven), Selangau, Subis and Kabong (six each), Marudi and Samarahan (five each), Saratok (four), Pakan (three) and Julau (one).

There was also one fatality involving a 74-year-old man who died at Sarikei Hospital on April 19.

Sarawak is currently under the conditional MCO until April 26, during which divisional disaster management committees are empowered to fine-tune the SOP in their respective divisions. Sarawak has 12 administrative divisions.

Uggah also said students in boarding schools and universities in red zones are not allowed to go home while their respective educational institutions are closed for two weeks.

He said the students must remain in their hostels or residential colleges so as to protect themselves and their families.

"They can move around in the compound but must follow SOP," he said.

The state government had decided on Monday (April 19) that all schools and educational institutions in red zones will be closed for 14 days from Tuesday (April 20) until May 3.

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