Sarawak CM: All schools in Covid-19 red zones to close for two weeks

Abang Johari said many Covid-19 cases have emerged in schools within Sarawak. — Picture by Choo Choy May

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KUCHING, April 19 — All schools in Sarawak’s Covid-19 red zones have been ordered to close for two weeks effective tomorrow, Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg said today.

He said he made the decision after studying reports that many Covid-19 cases have emerged in schools.

“We have noticed that there are infections in schools which can spread to the parents or parents to their school children and there are cases where teachers spread the virus to the students,” he said at a virtual press conference here.

He said in the interest of the students, parents, and teachers’ health, the state government has taken the decision to close all schools in the red zones.

He said schools in the orange, yellow and green zones will remain open but must strictly comply with the standard operating procedures (SOPs) set by the state Health Department and the Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC).

The chief minister also said all commercial activities, including hair salons, in red zones, are still allowed to open but must stop by 10pm.

“If we apply the movement control order (MCO) to curb the spread of Covid-19in the red zones, our economy will be greatly affected and many people will lose their jobs.

“We only apply MCO at targeted areas where the number of Covid-19 cases has gone up or where the clusters have emerged,” he said, such as at the Immigration Detention Centre in Serian, Mukah Polytechnic, the Police Training Centre at Borneo Height, and a number of schools.

He said he did not want the whole of Sarawak to be placed under MCO as there are many areas that are still under green and yellow zones.