West Malaysia could have avoided Covid-19 wave if they followed Sarawak policy

Dr Sim – Picture from DayakDaily

By Emma Victoria

PENINSULAR Malaysia may not be facing a new wave of Covid-19 infections now if they had adopted Sarawak’s policy – requiring all arrivals from Sabah to undergo a 14-day mandatory quarantine.

Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian said since September, the state had imposed the mandatory quarantine for those returning and coming from Sabah.

“If West Malaysia had been following Sarawak, (to have) compulsory hotel quarantine for anyone from Sabah in September, probably there will be no such outbreak,” he wrote on his Facebook.

Dr Sim said the policy to enter Sarawak will not change despite Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba saying that those who returning from Sabah will no longer have to go through the mandatory 14-day quarantine and only required to do a swab test three days before departing.

Dr Adham said the decision was made by the National Security Council after seeing the number of Covid-19 cases in Sabah dropping over the last few weeks.

According to Dr Sim, the Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) acting chairman Tan Sri James Masing had said the SOPs to enter Sarawak will remain the same, whereby all arrivals from other states and countries must undergo the 14-day quarantine at designated centres and hotels.

He said Sarawak is surrounded was Covid-19 ring of fire from West Malaysia, Sabah and Kalimantan and this was the only way to keep Sarawak safe.

“We will continue to exercise our immigration autonomy power and will not follow the West Malaysia policy,” he said.