Covid-19: Interzone travel restricted in Sarawak as cases reach record high

By S. Harrish

AS Sarawak registers nearly 1,000 new cases of Covid-19 today, the state has restricted interzone travel to contain infections. 

Sarawak Disaster Management Committee said only selected essential services such as public transportation and food supply chain, and with a police permit will be allowed starting Monday for travel between zones. 

SDMC chairman Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas said this was due to the rise in Covid-19 cases in Sarawak, which registered 960 cases today. 

“SDMC has found that as many as 505 positive cases and eight clusters since January this year were due to interzone movements. 

“As such, SDMC has decided to tighten the movement of people across zones,” he said. 

Uggah said police permits will be needed for interzone travel and police have been instructed to only issue permits for those in essential services.  

He said the definition of essential services has also been clarified with categories of services such as public transportation and food supplies. 

“As for emergencies, we will decide on what kind of emergencies will be allowed.” 

Of the new cases today, Kuching had the most cases at 370, mostly due to the outbreak in Pulapol with 313 infections. 

This was followed by Bintulu (175), Mukah (103), Sibu (100), Miri (83), Kapit (24), Belaga (20), Bukit Mabong (13), Serian (9), Selangau (7) and Kanowit (6). 

SebauhSubis and Marudi have five cases each, Kabong and Sri Aman (4 each), Song, Lubok Antu, Betong, Samarahan and Matu (3 each), Daro and Bau (2 each) while BeluruSarikei and Tanjung Manis had one case each.  

The state’s total number of cases is now 21,920. There were no deaths today in Sarawak. 

Uggah said only 60 (6.25%) of those found positive had symptoms during testing. 

Meanwhile nationwide, the number of new Covid-19 cases surged to 2,551 as of noon today. 

Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the total number of Covid-19 cases in Malaysia now stood at 370,528, with 18,600 active cases. 

There are 227 patients in the ICU, with 91 on respirators. 

There were two more deaths today, bringing the tally to 1,365 deaths. 

Both victims were Malaysians. 

After Sarawak, Selangor had the most number of cases with 590 new infections, followed by Kuala Lumpur (245), Kelantan (164), Sabah (143), Johor (121), Penang (91), Negeri Sembilan (53), Perak (49), Pahang (47), Kedah (35), Malacca (28), Terengganu (16), Putrajaya (6), Perlis (2) and Labuan (1).