Sarawak Detects Five Unlinked Covid-19 Cases

Bintulu has turned into a yellow zone after two locally transmitted cases were reported today.

KUALA LUMPUR, August 24 — Sarawak today recorded five new community Covid-19 cases whose sources of transmission were unknown, representing all locally transmitted coronavirus cases reported today nationwide.

According to the Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC), three of the five Covid-19 cases were detected in Kuching, while two were found in Bintulu.

Sarawak Patients 692 and 693 — aged 24 and 50 respectively who are both Indonesian construction workers — initially tested negative for an rT-PCR test. The initial test was conducted on June 8 but the results were released on June 18 as negative.

These two individuals then underwent self-screening at a private hospital in Kuching before applying for a new job. Lab results on August 23 showed that they were Covid-19 positive. They did not experience any signs or symptoms of Covid-19 infection.

Sarawak Patient 694 is a 35-year-old Malaysian women who underwent the swab rT-PCR test for Covid-19 as an antenatal screening in a private hospital in Kuching and tested positive on August 23. She also did not experience any symptoms or signs of Covid-19.

Sarawak Patient 695 is a 40-year-old Malaysian who works as a chargeman in one of the oil rigs in Bintulu. He arrived in Miri, Sarawak, from Selangor via Kuala Lumpur on July 18 to undergo a three-day training before travelling to Bintulu on July 22 to work on the rig from July 23.

He returned from the rig on August 20 and was under quarantine in a hotel in Bintulu. Upon rT-PCR swab screening conducted on August 21, he tested Covid-19 positive on August 23. This patient also did not show any signs or symptoms of the coronavirus infection.

Patient 696 is a 40-year-old Indonesian man working as an insulator in a factory in Samalaju industrial area. He underwent rT-PCR swab screening in a private hospital in Bintulu before returning to his country of origin and was found to be Covid-19 positive on August 23. This patient has been in Sarawak since 2015 and has no history of travelling.

SDMC also reported six active clusters involving 60 cases in Sarawak. The clusters are the engineering company cluster (eight cases), Mambong cluster (seven cases), Sentosa cluster (31 cases), Person-Under-Investigation (PUI) Melbourne cluster (three cases), Satok market cluster (four cases), and Alam, Bintulu cluster (seven cases).

“Today, five PUIs have been reported and these five PUIs are waiting for the lab results,” Sarawak Deputy Chief Minister Douglas Uggah Embas said at a press conference today.

“From August 25 onwards, for any social and official functions involving public gatherings, only 50 per cent are allowed according to the size of the space and physical distancing.”

The SDMC chairman also listed out 12 private health facilities in Sarawak where one can undergo Covid-19 screening tests: Borneo Medical Centre, Kuching; Kuching Specialist Hospital; Normah Medical Specialist Centre, Kuching; Timberland Medical Centre, Kuching; Kotaraya Samarahan clinic, Kota Samarahan; Rejang Medical Centre Sibu; Bintulu Medical Centre; Columbia Asia Hospital, Bintulu; Borneo Medical Centre, Miri; KPJ Miri Specialist Hospital and Columbia Asia Hospital, Miri.

The federal Ministry of Health (MOH) reported seven new coronavirus cases nationwide today, including five locally transmitted cases (all in Sarawak), bringing the cumulative Covid-19 cases to 9,274.

The two imported cases reported were Malaysians who returned from the Philippines (one case in Kuala Lumpur) and the United States (one case in Kuala Lumpur).

MOH also reported 184 active cases as of today, including eight patients in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and five patients on ventilator support.

The death toll remains at 125 as no new casualties were recorded today.

SDMC Covid-19 Screening Report

As of today, 22 health facilities have been identified for Covid-19 screening among influenza-like illness (ILI) cases in Sarawak. From April to August this year, 1,954 samples have been collected; one sample was detected positive in April in Sibu, 1,945 samples were negative, while eight sample results are still pending.

From July 20, five MOH health clinics in Sarawak have been identified to carry out surveillance for respiratory symptoms. A total of 361 samples have been collected for the rT-PCR test, 358 samples were negative, while three sample results are still pending.

SDMC reported that coronavirus screening was conducted across 155 construction sites in Kota Samarahan (11 sites), Serian (five sites), Sri Aman (four sites), Betong (seven sites), Sarikei (six sites), Sibu (four sites), Mukah (16 sites), Bintulu (33 sites), Miri (59 sites) ,and Limbang (six sites). A total of 1,448 samples have been collected for the rT-PCR test, out of which one tested positive from a Samarahan construction site, 1,443 samples tested negative while four sample results are still pending.

SDMC also reported on a random screening that has been done in 86 plantations located in Lundu (seven plantations), Sri Aman (14 plantations), Mukah (nine plantations), Betong (10 plantations), Bintulu (nine plantations), and Miri (37 plantations). A total of 848 samples were taken among foreigners and Malaysians, with 715 samples negative for Covid-19, while 133 sample results are still pending.

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