KUCHING, Aug 14 — Sarawak is not allowing the import of chicken parts from Brazil or any other country which has been known to have poultry disease problems.
State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) chairman, Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas said Sarawak had sufficient supply of domestic chicken, besides importing only from countries which had been certified to only produce disease-free chicken products.
“I would like to inform all Sarawakians that we (state government) are not allowing the import of chicken parts from Brazil,” he told a press conference here in response to recent concerns of traces of Covid-19 found on samples of frozen chicken wings from the Latin American country imported into China.
According to a Cable News Network (CNN) report yesterday, traces of the virus were detected Wednesday on a surface sample taken from a batch of chicken wings during screening of imported frozen food in Longgang district, Shenzhen.
Quoting the municipal government’s statement, the report said the findings were the latest in a series of reports of contaminated imported food products in the country.
Meanwhile, Uggah who is also Sarawak Deputy Chief Minister, said the state government had contributed RM1 million to increase the screening capacity for Covid-19 at the Sarawak Heart Centre in Kota Samarahan, near here.
He said the contribution was part of the state government’s continued efforts to raise the efficiency in dealing with the viral disease after Sarawak faced difficulties to get fast results on swab samples obtained during the initial stage of the pandemic.
“Our capacity was indeed limited in the early stage of the Covid-19 spread in Sarawak. We only had one screening centre in Kuching, so most of the samples were sent to Kuala Lumpur and it took four to five days to get the results,” he added.
To date, the state government has contributed a Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) machine used in Sibu Hospital, apart from an automated extraction machine used in Miri Hospital.
Uggah said the private sector in the state had also played its part in fighting the disease by donating four PCR machines and one automated extraction machine to raise the screening capacity. — Bernama