KUCHING, March 16 (Bernama) — All foreign and domestic visitors coming into Sarawak, as well as Sarawakians returning to the state, will be issued a 14-day stay home notice (SHN) as the state embarks on its latest control measures to contain the COVID-19 menace.
Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg, who announced the measures at a press conference at his office today, said the SHN would involve Sarawak residents, long term and short-term pass holders.
“This will take into effect on March 18, 2020. The relevant agencies will monitor the SHN holders through random visits, phone calls and modern technology applications. Exemptions shall only be given by the State Health Department to those who are required to travel under special circumstances (official and business duties),” he said.
He said that all Sarawak government’s official functions and public functions involving more than 50 persons should be cancelled or postponed until further notice.
In addition, Abang Johari said that all childcare centres, kindergartens, tahfiz schools in Sarawak have also been instructed to close for two weeks, effective tomorrow.
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“Institutions of higher education, both government and private, are to defer their new academic session by two weeks, effective tomorrow.
“All schools are ordered to extend their school holidays for another week (till the March 29),” he said.
Meanwhile, he said that all public sports facilities including swimming pools, stadiums and gymnasium have also been directed to close effective tomorrow until further notice.
“Everyone is advised to practice the highest standard of personal hygiene and to strictly practice social distancing,” he said.
Abang Johari said that in the last three days, Sarawak had recorded 34 positive cases of COVID-19 with 29 being imported cases.
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In the meantime, the Chief Minister said that the Sarawak Disaster Management Committee has advised the public to stop spreading fake or unverified news on social media and social messenger platforms.
“The police and the MCMC (Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission) will not hesitate to act against those found responsible for doing so.
“All suspects (of spreading fake news) will be investigated under Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act (CMA) 1998, which provides a maximum fine of RM50,000, or imprisonment for up to a year, or both, and shall also be liable to a further fine of RM1,000 for every day during which the offence is continued after conviction,” he added.