Sarawak Disaster Management Committee gets RM81m for Covid-19 fight
A PJ Polyclinic health worker conducts a Covid-19 swab test using the RTK-Antigen Covid-19 Kit in Dewan Serbaguna MBPJ in Petaling Jaya. The test will be conducted until this Friday for a fee RM70 January 19, 2020. — Picture by Hari Anggara

KUCHING, Jan 19 — Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg has approved RM81 million for the Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) as efforts to contain the spread of Covid-19 in the state continue, Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah announced today.

He said the sum is for SDMC operations from January to June this year.

“The amount includes the cost of setting up a PCR laboratory in Kapit,” Uggah, who is also SDMC chairman, told reporters during his media briefing.

He said the Kapit Health Department had submitted a request for the facility as it would cut the waiting time for swab test results significantly.

“This is similar to what was done for Limbang previously. The chief minister approved the RM81 million allocation from the state fund so that we can have a laboratory in Kapit,” he said.

He said the sum would also be used to prepare more quarantine centres in hotels, hospital beds and other facilities.

At the same press conference, the state local government and housing minister’s principal assistant secretary Desmond Jerukan clarified that spas, hair salons and reflexology outlets are not allowed to open while the conditional movement control order (CMCO) is in effect.

He made the clarification following media reports quoting state Assistant Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture Datuk Sebastian Ting as saying the contrary for such businesses in Miri.

Jerukan also advised the public to refer to the state Security Council’s official website for the list of economic activities, both allowed and banned, during the CMCO.