A Sarawak activist has urged the state

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  • 27 Mar 2020
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Close Plantations, Activists Tell Sarawak Govt Over Covid-19 Fears

A Sarawak activist has urged the state government to temporarily close down all oil palm plantations and mills, especially in rural areas, to prevent the spread of Covid-19 to rural communities. Solidariti Anak Sarawak (SAS) founder and activist Peter John Jaban said if Covid-19 entered the rural areas, the damage could be “immense” as most of the rural folks had very poor access to healthcare and almost no access to hospital care. He also raised concern over the recent report about 20 Indonesian oil palm plantation workers in Sri Aman showing early symptoms of the infection. The migrant workers, who were transferred to a quarantine centre in Kota Samarahan on Wednesday, were from the Sarawak Land Custody and Rehabilitation Authority (Salcra) plantation at Pakit Undop, Sri Aman. On Wednesday, state disaster management committee chairman Douglas Uggah Embas said the plantation industries and commodities ministry had agreed to allow plantations to continue operating, provided that the workers complied with standard operating procedures. Uggah said the Sarawak government would not hesitate to close down any oil palm plantation if Covid-19 cases were detected among workers.

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