Kuching Turns Red As Sarawak Reports 25 New Covid-19 Cases

SDMC reports four imported cases who all tested negative with either the PCR test or antigen rapid test kit at KLIA, but later tested positive with the PCR test in Kuching.

KUALA LUMPUR, July 28 — Sarawak authorities today reported 25 new Covid-19 cases and a new cluster, as Kuching turned into a red zone, while Serian and Lundu turned yellow.

Of the 25 new Covid-19 cases, 21 were reported in Kuching, two in Serian, one in Samarahan, and one more in Lundu.

This means Sarawak has one red zone (Kuching) and four yellow zones (Samarahan, Serian, Bau, and Lundu), while the remaining 35 green districts have reported no new Covid-19 cases in the past fortnight.

Kuching reported 53 local Covid-19 cases in the past 14 days, followed by Samarahan (12), Serian (two), Lundu (one), and Bau (one).

An area is classified red with 41 or more new local Covid-19 cases reported in the past 14 days, yellow denotes one to 40 cases, while green is zero new cases. The colour designation excludes imported cases from overseas or districts outside.

According to the Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC), a new cluster, dubbed the Satok market cluster, revealed four new Covid-19 cases during a screening of a market in Kuching, all of whom were traders. None of them displayed any coronavirus symptoms. The index case and close contacts to cases are still under investigation.

SDMC also reported today that four imported cases tested negative with either the RT-PCR test or antigen rapid test kit (RTK) upon arrival in Kuala Lumpur from abroad, but later tested positive with the RT-PCR test on the second day of their hotel quarantine in Kuching.

All four cases did not show symptoms. They comprised:

  • A foreign couple who returned from the United Kingdom on July 23; transited in Doha, Qatar; arrived in Kuala Lumpur on July 24, and entered Sarawak through the Kuching International Airport on July 25. Their RT-PCR test at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) on July 24 yielded negative results, but another RT-PCR test on July 27 during their mandatory hotel quarantine in Kuching turned positive.
  • The third imported case in Sarawak was a local female student who returned from South Korea to Kuala Lumpur on July 11 and flew to Kuching on July 25. She tested negative with the antigen RTK at KLIA on July 11, but PCR testing on Day 2 of her quarantine in Kuching on July 26 showed positive results.
  • The fourth imported case in Sarawak was a local man working in the United States who flew to Kuala Lumpur through London and Abu Dhabi on July 23, arriving in Kuala Lumpur on July 25. His antigen RTK results on July 25 were negative, but a PCR test on Day 2 of his quarantine in Kuching on July 26 showed positive results.

A random screening at Sarawak’s international entry point yielded a Covid-19 case involving a local man who had returned from Kuala Lumpur on July 14.

He was screened on Day 10 on July 25 at a public health clinic, with a positive PCR test result on July 27. He also previously travelled to Miri and Sibu on June 29 and July 24 respectively. He did not show symptoms.

A random screening of health care workers uncovered a Covid-19 case involving a health worker at a facility in Lundu, who was swabbed on July 27 after visiting the site of an outbreak at his or her place of work. The person’s RT-PCR test showed a negative result on the same day. The source of infection is still under investigation.

Fifteen of today’s new cases in Sarawak were close contacts of active clusters: nine from the Sentosa Hospital cluster in Kuching (six men and three women — a health care worker, two private workers at the facility, and six social contacts). None showed symptoms.

Four cases were contacts of a positive case from the Kuching Engineering Company cluster, who were colleagues and the father and child of Sarawak’s Patient 631. They are all locals aged six to 72 years.

One Covid-19 case was a foreigner who was a close contact on a July 15 flight from Kuala Lumpur to Kuching involving the Melbourne PUI cluster.

As of today, Sarawak has 10 active Covid-19 clusters: nine in Kuching and one in Bintulu.

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