Fortnightly testing for essential service workers

ESSENTIAL service workers who have obtained interzone travel permits will now be required to take a swab test every two weeks.

In addition, people in this sector who have symptoms of Covid-19 such as cough, fever and diarrhea will also have to take a swab test.

The Sarawak Disaster Management Committee has made this mandatory from May 19.

Deputy Minister of Housing for State and Local Government, Dr Annuar Rapaee, in his Covid-19 update on Facebook Livestream, said bi-monthly swab testing was mandatory to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

“Workers have to travel because of their job and can pose a high risk to the community.

“The swab test is therefore a precaution to stop the spread of the virus to the community and their family members when they return home from travel,” he said.

The Nangka MP also clarified allegations that the new SOP was to restrict the movement of people.

“This SOP is not intended to restrict the movement of people as it only applies to essential service workers who need to travel between areas,” he stressed.

For example, he said that the central police station in Sibu had from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on May 19 received 55 applications for inter-area travel permits.

The majority of applications have been approved.

Approved requests included two requests for travel due to the death of a family member, 10 for welfare reasons, 12 for essential service workers, six for a medical examination, three for official business and 20 for other business.

Regarding the vaccination schedule, Dr. Annuar said the next ones would be May 22, 23, 24 and 25 for recipients of the first dose, while the dates for those scheduled for the second dose are May 28 and May 29.

Michelle J. Kelley