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Dr Sim speaking to reporters after the event.  —  Picture by Chimon Upon via Borneo Post Online
Dr Sim speaking to reporters after the event. — Picture by Chimon Upon via Borneo Post Online

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KUCHING, July 24 — Sarawak will continue to monitor the situation with Covid-19 variants and revise its policy as the virus evolves, including the deadly Delta variant, said Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) advisor Datuk Seri Prof Dr Sim Kui Hian.

“We will tighten the SOPs (standard operating procedures) and strengthen the border control including illegal entries like ‘jalan tikus’,” said Dr Sim when met at the Programme Peladang Prihatin Sarawak at the Sarawak General Hospital Blood Bank yesterday.

He added that the Delta variant was imported and the cases came into the state not just by air way but also through illegal immigrants from Indonesia, and every time the illegal immigrants were caught, it caused spike in positive cases in police lock-ups.

“I believe the illegals coming in will not go far if there are no locals who are guiding them. If we love Sarawak, everyone must know how to play their role.”

“Unless we suddenly find that no illegals coming in ever, then we can tighten our rules. So it is about balancing between what is best, based on recommendation by medical expert, but at the same time, we have to understand that we have to live with the virus,” he said.

When asked if the quarantine will be extended in light of the Delta variant, Dr Sim said that the quarantine period is still maintained at 14 days.

He revealed that to test the Delta variant genomics, the study would take two to four weeks.

Thus, the people have to be on high alert as they have no choice to but learn to live with the virus, said Dr Sim.

Similarly, Dr Sim who is also Local Government and Housing Minister said Sarawakians have to accept that the virus is here to stay, and that many variants has made its way here.

“Last year, at the beginning, most virus from China, now the virus has evolved to include Indian and African variants.”

“The virus is changing, the policy will continue to change. The virus is only 18 months old and there is so much to learn.”

At the same time, Dr Sim reminded the public to continue to adhere to the SOPs like physical distancing, wearing face masks, handwashing, and to get tested if they feel unwell.

He also stressed on the importance of vaccination because those who were vaccinated were less likely to be infected or having less severe infection.

Despite the Delta variants making its way here, Dr Sim said those needing intensive care have reduced to only 30-40 per cent due to vaccination in the last one month. — Borneo Post Online

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