Sarawak warns plantations of closure if no anti-virus measures

Plantations are allowed to continue operating throughout the MCO as long as their staff comply with standard operating procedures.

KUCHING: Sarawak has directed oil palm plantations and mills in the state to submit the list of all their foreign workers for health vetting.

“We want to find out the number of foreign workers working at the plantations and mills in the state, including their history as well as health condition,” said Sarawak Disaster Management Committee chairman Douglas Uggah during a visit to the Bau palm oil mill here today.

The ministry of plantation industries and commodities has agreed to allow plantations to continue operating and provided the stakeholders with standard operating procedures which must be complied with by their staff, he said.

But Uggah said the Sarawak government would not hesitate to close down any oil palm plantation if Covid-19 cases were detected among workers.

He urged all oil palm plantations and mills to monitor their workers by following the instructions given by the government to prevent the spread of the virus.

“Everyone must have their temperature taken and those who live in the plantations must not indulge in any gathering. Workers must also inform their management of their whereabouts,” he said.

Meanwhile, Uggah said 95% of the people in the state had complied with the movement control order (MCO), which has since been extended to a month.

“We hope this will continue as it is for the betterment of everyone,” he added.

Five of the 17 deaths related to Covid-19 nationwide came from Sarawak, which has recorded 87 cases so far.