Sarawak tightens border control

Azlan Othman

Sarawak has tightened security controls at all major border points including the Immigration, Customs, Quarantine and Security Complex (ICQS) in Sungai Tujoh.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said Sarawak needed to take more drastic precautions by tightening security measures at the state’s main entrance to address the spread of coronavirus in the state, Malaysian newspapers reported.

“We have tightened security at the Sarawak entrypoints. That is why the State Disaster Management Committee chaired by Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas had a day-long meeting to discuss the issues.

“Sarawak state government will also provide allocation for mouth and nose cover and other necessary equipment. I have not been informed of the amount of allocation required,” he said.

He said this at a press conference yesterday after attending ‘Ju Berambeh Makan Durian’ Programme at the Darul Qarar Surau yard in Kampong Temedak.

Abang Johari said in addition to tightening security at the Kuching International Airport (LTAK), focus was also given to ICQS Sungai Tujoh, the country’s main gateway for tourists from China to Sarawak after visiting Sabah.

Sarawak’s Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg. PHOTO: BERNAMA

“The number of Chinese tourists coming to Sarawak is not high. We fear many Chinese tourists are going to Sabah, using special charter flights and they can go to Sarawak via Sungai Tujoh.

“We have begun the strict control at Sungai Tujoh… We cannot take this case lightly. Coronaviruses are like SARS but they do not have the vaccine and secondly, if one is suspected, they can only be detected after 14 days,” he said.

Abang Johari also told Sarawak Disaster Management Committee to look for a suitable quarantine facility.

“If there is a quarantine centre, we have to find a clean place to quarantine the patients. The facilities in Sarawak General Hospital (HUS) are inadequate.

“We will ask for cooperation from companies with clean rooms in Sama Jaya Industrial Centre … Hopefully they (the company) can cooperate,” he said. He also said that all official work visits to China had been postponed until further notice.

“I want the people to take precautions, by wearing mouth and nose mask and avoid going to crowded places. For those who return from China, they have to quarantine themselves for 14 days as a precaution,” he said.