Sarawak Records 10 New Covid-19 Cases, Two Fresh Clusters

By CodeBlue | 17 July 2020

Ten of 18 new Covid-19 cases reported nationwide today are from Sarawak.

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KUALA LUMPUR, July 17 — Sarawak authorities today reported 10 new Covid-19 cases, comprising six in Kuching, two in Samarahan, and two in Bintulu, leading to a total 594 cases in the state.

The Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) also reported two new clusters: a cluster from the LNG Jupiter cruise ship and another from a Kuching medical centre.

Two new coronavirus cases (both foreigners) reported today were close contacts of a positive case that was detected last July 13 on the LNG Jupiter ship. The two new cases, who did not show symptoms, will move from the ship to Bintulu Hospital for treatment.

This totals three confirmed cases in the LNG Jupiter cruise ship cluster out of 30 crew members who have been screened.

The federal Ministry of Health (MOH) said separately that this was an isolated cluster, as the local community was not exposed to the crew.

As for the Kuching medical centre cluster, the new case reported today was a health care worker and colleague of Sarawak’s Patient 582. The new case did not show symptoms and has been admitted to Sarawak General Hospital. This cluster comprises two cases so far, with the source of infection still under investigation.

“This case is also a local transmission because of the absence of overseas travel history,” SDMC said in a statement today.

SDMC also reported one new Covid-19 case involving an elderly woman in Kuching who had sought treatment at a public health clinic and was admitted to Sarawak General Hospital for severe acute respiratory infection.

“This case is a local transmission because of the absence of overseas travel history.”

Four new Covid-19 cases reported today involved imported cases of Malaysians who had just returned from overseas and are under 14-day quarantine: two in Kuching and two in Samarahan district.

“They also showed no symptoms and have been admitted to Sarawak General Hospital for further treatment. All of these cases have been categorised as imported cases involving local citizens.”

Two other new coronavirus cases reported today were Sarawakians who underwent screening at a private hospital and displayed no Covid-19 symptoms. The source of their infection is still under investigation.

SDMC announced that all Sarawakians returning to the state from abroad are required to undergo 14-day quarantine at a designated quarantine centre, with tests conducted on the second and 10th day of quarantine.

MOH Reports 18 New Coronavirus Cases Nationwide

The federal Ministry of Health (MOH) separately reported 18 new Covid-19 cases today, including the 10 in Sarawak.

Ten of the 18 new coronavirus cases nationwide reported today were imported infections, while local transmissions numbered at eight, comprising six among Malaysians (four in Sarawak and two in Terengganu) and two among foreigners (one in Kuala Lumpur and one in Selangor).

Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah also reported four new Covid-19 clusters today, including the Jupiter cruise ship and Kuching medical centre clusters.

The other two new clusters were dubbed the Pitakwa and Shirala patients-under-investigation (PUI) clusters.

The index case for the Pitakwa PUI cluster was a Malaysian (Patient 8,737) who returned to Malaysia from Nigeria on July 11 and tested negative for the coronavirus at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA). He or she did a repeat test three days later after suffering from symptoms, whereupon results came back positive and the person was admitted to Hulu Terengganu Hospital.

Two others from the cluster tested positive for the coronavirus (Patient 8,754 and Patient 8,755), after screening of 44 close contacts comprising family members, passengers and crew of the plane, taxi driver, and colleagues. Three tested negative while 39 are awaiting test results.

The Shirala PUI cluster was sparked by a foreign professional (Patient 8,730) who had come to Malaysia on July 6 for business reasons. The person’s Covid-19 screening in India and later at KLIA showed negative results.

Five days after arriving in Malaysia, Patient 8,730 did a repeat test for Covid-19 upon experiencing symptoms on July 11, testing positive for the coronavirus. The person was admitted to Sungai Buloh Hospital in Selangor.

Two close contacts have been identified, including one positive infection (Patient 8,738) and a negative case.

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