By Chew Lip Song
THE first batch of Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) students stranded during the Movement Control Order have departed from their campus today.
Unimas vice chancellor Dato Dr Mohamad Kadim Suaidi said the 127 students left for Sibu, Borneo Post reported.
“The first batch of 127 students are heading to Sibu using eight buses and they will be brought to Sibu district police headquarters to be processed when arrived,” he said.
He said the students would have to observe social distancing and refrain from having close contacts with their family members once they arrived home and they would be placed under self-surveillance for 14 days.
Unimas medical personnel checking the body temperature of Laura Steven, one of the students heading home today.
“Before this, the students had undergone health screening by the university medical team to ensure they are cleared of the Covid-19 virus,” he said when monitoring the departure of the students at Cempaka College, Unimas here today.
“In these three days, we are assisting to send students back to their home located throughout Sarawak,” he said.
Mohamad Kadim added the exact number of students who would be going home had not been finalised yet and the university was still compiling all the information.
Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas reportedly stated Unimas had been tasked with managing the transportation of students from all public and private higher learning institutions in Sarawak to return to their hometowns in view of Movement Control Order (MCO).
“The departure of students needs to be done in stages due to logistic factor and at the same time following the standard operating procedure fixed by the National Security Council and Ministry of Health.”
On Saturday, he said the university would be sending about 2,900 students from Peninsula Malaysia and Sabah to their respective home.
Moreover, he said some students preferred to stay in the campus due to better internet connection for them to continue pursuing their course online.
The welfare of students who choose to stay in campus would be properly taken care off, he added.
Mohamad Kadim also added the university was currently conducting their classes and lessons online to reduce the risk of Covid-19 transmission among students.
“We are considering starting the second semester on June 9 after Hari Raya Aidilfitri and Gawai festivals. The intake of new students will also be carried out in October instead of September,” he said.