Tuesday, March 23, 2021

My Experience With Sarawak Mandatory Quarantine Order

Sarawak has again impose a mandatory quarantine order for those coming in from outside its border since 1 October 2020. Before this, Sarawak also have the same policy for about a month starting from August 2020. This time it is the longest run and into the 6th month of such policy at the time of writing.

With no end in sight of such policy, I have to make my trip home this time to settle a few personal things. When we landed at Sibu Airport, our eHealth Declaration Form will checked. After that, we will be gathered at a waiting area and handed a form to be filled by the Health Ministry. There is nothing much about the form, as we just need to fill up our name, IC number, home address and phone number. The purpose for this task is for the Ministry of Health to segregate us according to the designated quarantine center as some of us will be placed in Sibu, Sarikei and Betong, depending on our final destination.

Tips: Make sure you have a pen readily available

Wristband will also be provided at this stage and one must wear it immediately. After submitting the form, your name will be called up and you will be informed on the quarantine center you will be heading to. 

Sarawakian do not need to fork out any money to cover the expenses of the quarantine. However, outsider will be charged RM150 per day to cover the quarantine cost. My heart skipped a beat when I am designated to Sarawak Hotel as my quarantine center while the other group (mostly non-Sarawakian) is designated to Premier Hotel. This is because Sarawak Hotel is a budget hotel whereas Premier Hotel is a 3 star hotel.

After the segregation process, we proceed for immigration clearance and exit the airport terminal building. In my personal opinion, this would be the greatest opportunity for those who want to escape the quarantine order as the airport areas are quite open and one could just walk to the car park without been apprehended.

There will be buses lining out at the waiting area. The bus will have the name of the quarantine center where it will be heading. 

I arrived at my designated quarantine center, Sarawak Hotel. As the lobby area of this hotel is small, we were briefed on the rules instead inside the bus. Here are some of the rules:

  1. We are not allowed to leave our room for any reason
  2. During our stay here, there will be no room service and laundry
  3. Food will be delivered to our room 3 times a day
  4. Family members or friends can bring in food or items to us. Just mention your room number and it will be delivered by the duty personnel. Same goes for food delivery service such as Food Panda or Grab Food.
  5. Alcoholic drink is strictly prohibited
Tip: Get ready a copy of your IC as it will be required at the hotel lobby registration

There are chairs lining up outside the room door. This is where all the food will be placed. Breakfast at 8am, lunch at 12pm and dinner at 5pm. 1500ml of drinking water will be delivered everyday during lunch time.

The room I got is pretty small. This is where I will be holed up for the next 14 days. 2 pieces of towel and 2 bar of soap are provided. There are also enough supply of coffee sachets to last your entire stay here. Also available in the room is a kettle, toothbrush, toothpaste and razor.

  1. Bring your own bed sheet or pillow case if you are concerned on the cleanliness of the given sheet
  2. Bring your own shampoo
  3. Bring your own portable water purifier (I bring along my Grayl Ultralight)
  4. Bring some books and laptop for your own entertainment
  5. Bring your own Mifi Modem for reliable internet connection

There is a CRT TV here which is pretty much useless as the reception is bad. I bring my own form of entertainment though.

I am pretty horrified with the room I am assigned in. Wall paints are peeling off and mold can be seen on the ceiling. Water is even leaking when it rains. This place is unfit to be a quarantine hotel as the room condition itself can create another health hazard to the occupant. 

I notice Sarawakian are placed in this hotel whereas those who paid for the quarantine expenses are placed in a better hotel (Premier Hotel). I find this discriminating and I wouldn't mind to pay the extra if I been given the option.

My home is just 2km away from the town. So near yet so far for me. I won't be mentally be the same again after completing my quarantine period here as the condition is really bad.

There seems to be an opportunity for an escape plan here. I could walk on top of this roof and jump over to the emergency ladder on the opposite building to escape.

The food here is quite alright. Fruits (mostly apple and orange) are served during lunch and dinner time. Boiled egg is available everyday for breakfast.  As the time of writing, I am entering my 4th day.

Swab test will be conducted on the 2nd and 10th day of our stay here. If we were tested negative, we will probably be released on the 15th day.

I wonder how long Sarawak government intend to keep this quarantine policy as it is counter productive and in some way affect the State economy (although not so apparent). I also hope the SDMC actually conduct audits and inspection on the quarantine hotel to ensure its suitability as one. 

On the positive side, the related personnel from the airport, medical staffs and the one manning the quarantine center have been professional so far. It is just a matter to make the living condition more bearable.

1 comment:

Wrong Man said...

That was a horrible hotel !!!!!