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MCO: Armed forces to help monitor Sibu longhouse residents

The Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (JPBN) will discuss with the police and the armed forces on more effective measures to address the issue of longhouse residents using forest trails to escape the lockdown imposed due to the spread of COVID-19 infection in Sibu.

Its chairman Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas said he had instructed Sarawak police commissioner Datuk Aidi Ismail and the armed forces to present a more effective empowerment programme at the committee’s daily meeting tomorrow in order to prevent this act from continuing.

“We close the area to make sure no one slips out of the areas but there were also residents of longhouses who are still stubborn and sneak out. It is an irresponsible act,” he said at the COVID-19 daily press conference here today.

Uggah, who is also Sarawak deputy chief minister, said community leaders in areas under movement restrictions could also help ensure that every household complied with the guidelines set during the enforcement of the Movement Control Order (MCO) in the longhouses involved.

Yesterday, Sibu district police chief ACP Stanley Jonathan Ringgit was reported to have said he did not deny that there were residents in longhouses, under the MCO, who moved in and out of their homes but police action is hampered due to the vastness of the area to be monitored.

Meanwhile, Uggah said today that there were three new deaths involving COVID-19 infections in Sibu bringing the total number of fatalities in Sarawak to 33.

He added that the total number of positive COVID-19 cases in the state is at 3,704 cases.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency

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