Strengthen Precautions For Inter-District Travels Especially From Red Zones

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Media Statement by YB Kelvin Yii:

I read with concern a news article on a local paper that states that the Police has approved 9177 permits from 25-29 January for Sibu. While huge majority of these permits are for businesses to run in SIbu during their MCO, but maybe among them there are also permits for travel outside of Sibu during this period.

While I understand certain travels are needed especially for essential services, but I believe it is important to have some safety measure to make sure those travelling out of “Red Zones” do not bring the virus out and spread to other zones in Sarawak.

That is why I propose that Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) to take the pro-active step to come out with a rule to compel those travelling out of “Red Zones” to other places in Sarawak to undergo a Covid-19 test before being granted permission to travel outside.

While I understand this may cause some level of inconvenience, but this is important to protect other parts of Sarawak especially the green zones and some yellow zones as well. As seen by the high numbers of cases especially in the Red Zones and many unlinked cases, the virus is likely already in the community and thus we must take extra precaution to make sure that there are no asymptomatic carriers that may bring it outside of those zones especially to the rural areas where healthcare facilities are limited.

SDMC can implement a policy where, in order to get permission to travel out especially those of essential services, they can apply first for a police permit and those successful will then be allowed to get free Covid-19 testing in any of the clinics. Only with both the police permit plus a negative(-ve) result, then one is allowed to travel outside a Red Zone.

Such process especially police permit application should also be made easy where they can apply online by uploading all the necessary documents for approval so that they can do their Covid-19 test.

Such policy is actually already been implemented for those travelling from ‘Red Zones’ outside of Sarawak and thus I believe it should be extended to intra-state travel as well. It is not just important to protect the health of those in the different zones, but also the economic activities in those area.

If we see a surge of cases in that particular area, the economic activities in the area will also be significantly affected. That is why SDMC should take the pro-active step and take precautions so that possible “loop-holes” can be covered for the good of the public in Sarawak.

Kelvin Yii Lee Wuen
MP Bandar Kuching