KUCHING, June 24 — A Covid-19 imported case in Miri had provided false travel history in her health declaration upon entering Sarawak, the Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) reported.
Sarawak Deputy Chief Minister Douglas Uggah Embas told a press conference today that the Miri Covid-19 patient in question was treated as a domestic traveller from Kuala Lumpur upon her arrival in the state, and thus allowed her case to fall through the cracks of standard contact tracing procedures.
“When she arrived in Miri, she filled out the e-health form, but in her e-health declaration, she did not declare that she (came) from overseas, therefore she was treated as if she was a Sarawakian who just came back from Kuala Lumpur, and therefore not subjected to any quarantine or anymore SOP,” Uggah explained.
“If you just come back from Kuala Lumpur, you will be treated as normal, no test and no quarantine,” he added.
He further provided the travel history of the positive Covid-19 case in Miri, noting that the standard operating procedures (SOP) at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) is based on randomisation when it comes to Covid-19 testing using the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test, where results take at least one day.
“For your information, she recently returned from Tunisia and was in transit in KL, and Malaysians on transit in KLIA, the SOP is for them to be given RTK, rapid test kit antigen, and the result was negative.
“In addition, the SOP at KLIA also makes one cross check by having a random test. If there are 120 passengers from one airplane, all of them will go for RTK test, but out of them, only a few of them will be randomly picked to undergo a PCR test, and so happened that this lady was one of the picks for PCR test, but test (result) takes time, (so) she didn’t wait and just went through transit to Miri,” Uggah explained.
The Sarawak deputy chief minister further reported that the medical department of Miri was informed of the patient’s positive Covid-19 PCR test result the next day, and she was promptly sent to Miri hospital upon the news.
“This case is under investigation and we wish to remind the public for anyone that dishonestly misinform [sic] the authority when they fill the e-health declaration form is a wrongdoing, and that’s why this case is under investigation and we will announce the outcome of the investigation,” said Uggah, urging the public to fill out e-health declaration form honestly for the benefit of the public.
He also added that the penalty for dishonestly filling out the health declaration will be announced tomorrow.
The Sarawak deputy chief minister announced today that all Malaysians entering Sarawak from overseas, including those on a same-day transit flight, will be quarantined for 14 days upon arrival at their final destination in Sarawak.
“The Covid-19 PCR test will be taken on day two. If their result is negative, they will continue the quarantine at home. The second Covid-19 test will be taken after day 10,” Uggah said.
All Indonesian citizens with valid work permits will be allowed to enter Sarawak and are required to undergo mandatory quarantine for 14 days, where the cost of quarantine at a designated quarantine centre together with the Covid-19 test on the day of arrival and on the 10th day will be fully borne by the employer.
“The employer has to pay for the quarantine, as well as the testing,” he said.
SDMC today also reported that a total of 217 individuals have been identified in the Kidurong cluster and all 217 of them have undergone Covid-19 screening, in which eight came back positive through the PCR test. A total of 206 of the sampled individuals produced negative results.
As for updates on construction site foreign workers, 196 individuals have been screened at the Podium Project Site where all came back negative for Covid-19 except for one positive case. Sixty-two individuals were screened at Dun Lama, Fort Margerita and Pengkalan Sapi Project Site, where 59 were negative and three were positive for the coronavirus.
Sarawak today reported one new Covid-19 case in Kuching, which brings the total number of Covid-19 positive cases in Sarawak to 570.
The 570th case is a local individual working as project manager at the same construction company as the Indonesian Covid-19 cases 563 and 565 reported on June 18, 2020. Thus far, 112 first-generation contacts and 312 second-generation contacts have been identified and investigations are still ongoing to identify the causes of infection.
No new discharged Covid-19 cases were reported today, which means that the total number of Covid-19 discharged cases remain at 535, or at a 93.86 recovery rate. As many as 18 Covid-19 patients are still being treated in isolated wards in hospitals, and the Covid-19 death toll in the state remains at 17.