Social events, gatherings in longhouses & villages banned as Covid-19 cases surge

No more social events in long houses. – Sarawak Tourism Board photo

By Chew Lip Song

ALL social activities and gatherings in longhouses and villages throughout Sarawak has been banned as Covid-19 cases continue to soar.

The State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) chairman Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas said yesterday the curb was to take immediate effect.

Cases in Sarawak have rocketed largely due to the Pasai cluster in Sibu involving a funeral at one of the longhouses in Pasai Siong, there. The index case has been identified as a woman who returned from Johor on Dec 29 last year.

Uggah also announced that the SDMC has decided to restrict the number of people allowed to attend funeral rites to 50 for areas under the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO). For the last rites at the funeral grounds, a maximum of 30 people can be there.

For areas under the stricter Movement Control Order (MCO), only immediate family members of the deceased are allowed to attend for gatherings.

“The standard operating procedure (SOP) for burial will be released by the Unit for Other Religions (Unifor) and the Sarawak Islamic Affairs Department (JAIS),” added Uggah in a statement.

Uggah, who is also Deputy Chief Minister also announced that movement into and out of Covid-19 green districts will also be tightened.

The police have been instructed to set up roadblocks at the border of these districts to curb the spread of Covid-19.

As of yesterday Sarawak has 15 “green” districts out of the total 40. They are Lawas, Lundu, Bau, Tanjung Manis, Tebedu, Mukah, Matu, Saratok, Pusa, Kabong, Tatau, Dato, Song, Marudi and Telang Usan.