Sarawak Moves To Protect Borders Amid Sabah’s Covid-19 Spike

Sarawak has been declared a green zone for the 20th day today.

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 18 — The Sarawak state government has mandated all arrivals from Sabah to get tested for Covid-19 before arrival in Sarawak, after Sabah recorded 590 local coronavirus cases in the past fortnight.

Sarawak’s State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) said both Malaysians and foreigners who come from or pass through Sabah will be required, from next Monday on September 21, to fill in the “enterSarawak” app or online travel application form with supporting documents and to do an RT-PCR test three days before departure.

This means that most of these travellers will have to pay to get tested in private facilities in Sabah, as the Ministry of Health (MOH) only provides testing for free to people who show symptoms and had previous travel history or close contact with confirmed Covid-19 cases. An RT-PCR test in the private sector costs about RM300.

“Sarawak has been declared a green zone for the 20th day today, after no new local Covid-19 infections were recorded,” SDMC said in a statement today.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) reported 90 new Covid-19 cases in Sabah today, including 76 from the Benteng LD cluster, following fresh outbreaks in recent days. The coronavirus has spread to eight districts in Sabah, which is currently undergoing a state election, with Tawau and Lahad Datu classified red after recording more than 40 new local coronavirus cases in the past 14 days.

Politicians across the divide from the peninsula and Sarawak have travelled to Sabah to join the election campaign. Federal authorities have yet to announce if testing or quarantine will be required for those arriving in the peninsula from Sabah.

As for Malaysians who fly to Sarawak from Penang, they will be tested for Covid-19 in a random screening at the Kuching International Airport, said SDMC.

Sarawakians who return home from overseas will be quarantined at the first point of entry in Sarawak and will not be allowed to transit to their final destination.

Sarawakians who travel back and forth Brunei and Sabah for work are required to get a special letter from the respective Division Management Committee in Miri and Limbang, besides getting tested for Covid-19 every two weeks.

Oil and gas sector workers who are required to go to oil rigs and have resided in Sarawak for 30 days do not need to get tested for coronavirus, but workers from outside Sarawak are required to get tested.

Foreign workers in the construction and agriculture sectors, as well as foreign students, are allowed to enter Sarawak on condition that they have valid work or study passes, and apply to the SDMC on a case by case basis and fill up the “EnterSarawak” application form online.

Their company or institution, or the students themselves, must also bear the costs of quarantine for 14 days and two Covid-19 tests. The company or institution must also prepare transport to bring in workers from the point of entry to the quarantine centre.

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