Improve quarantine centres call

KOTA KINABALU,. MCA Wanita Sabah Chief, Dr Pamela Yong has urged the Sabah government to improve the health quarantine centres.

She said that the complaints were serious as these involved Sabah’s youths who were the future of the state.

She said that MCA Wanita Sabah strongly implored to all relevant authorities to take heed of the reported conditions at health quarantine centres in the state and make swift remedial improvements to ease the concerns and mental anguish highlighted by those under quarantine on May 18 in a social media posting.

The centre that was highlighted in the social media was the badminton hall of the Sports complex in Likas.

“We empathise with students who were emotionally relieved to have finally been granted permission to return to their home state but only to be greeted by such poorly coordinated and ill-thought out quarantine facilities provided by the State authorities as their welcome home “gift”. Indeed, instead of welcomed relief and elation of being back in the safety and warmth of their home state, they were faced with new tribulations over the dismal conditions of the quarantine centres where not only theirs but the wellbeing and health of the elderly, pregnant women, young children and middle-aged adults were anything but safe,” she said.

She added that MCA Wanita Sabah investigated the issue and spoke to a few students at the quarantine centres.

“These youths, who had been fearful for their lives while under lockdown and unable to leave their campuses in Peninsular Malaysia for the past two months, were so very relieved to return home and be in the warm embrace of their families who had been praying night and day for the safe return of their children,” she said.

“Most notably, these students were not spoilt brats that our State officials and Sabah government ministers painted them to be. They were level headed and understood the dangers posed by Covid-19, knew the risk they could expose their families to and accepted the need to undergo the 14-day compulsory quarantine to keep the outbreak of the pandemic at bay in Sabah. Honestly, none of the students who spoke up of their ordeal, expected anything like 5-star or even 3-star rated facilities.”

She said that the students underwent lockdown in their dormitories for two months.

“The youths are more fastidious and meticulous in observing standard operating procedures (SOPs) which include temperature checks, strict personal hygiene (frequent washing and sanitisation of hands, wearing face mask and social distancing) and of sanitary living and campus environment which they had followed to the tee. Therefore, they are fully conditioned mentally to the new norms and were therefore shocked that the relevant Sabah authorities were slacking in the State quarantine facilities and putting their young lives on the line.”

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