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COVID-19: Operation Jala to be launched in Sarawak, says Uggah

An operation codenamed Ops Jala will be launched in Sarawak in a few days’ time to check illegal entry and prevent illegal immigrants from bringing in COVID-19 infection.

“The number of positive COVID-19 cases resulting from illegal immigrants is still a big threat that needs to be addressed,” said Sarawak State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) chairman Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas.

Sarawak had gone through several bitter experiences with illegals, including four immigrants who ran away from Sibu and two others in Asajaya who fled after being found positive for the infection, he told a press conference here today.

“These people are very irresponsible so we have to take very drastic action. We are not only taking action against the illegal immigrants themselves but also against those who facilitated their entry into Sarawak,” he added.

As for the arrivals of Malaysians, he said the infection numbers were still alarming in other states and that was the reason for Sarawak to continue with the quarantine order.

“Can you imagine if we don’t quarantine them? They could have gone home, gone to the interior areas and caused a lot of havoc. The sacrifice they make will help us contain the situation in Sarawak,” said Uggah, who is also a Deputy Chief Minister.

He said since the commencement of the second phase of the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO) on Sept 1, a total of 411 positive cases have been reported in Sarawak.

Of this number, 38 cases were imported from overseas, 80 cases were imported from other states and 293 were local transmissions, he said.

“From the 38 imported cases from overseas, 12 cases involve Malaysians and 26 non-Malaysians, where out of the 26 non-Malaysians, 15 were categorised as illegal immigrants,” he said.

He said more hotels and other suitable premises would be used as quarantine centres in Sibu town so that returnees would not have to undergo self-isolation at their homes.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency

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