Penang Logs 3% Covid-19 Community Cases, But Let’s Stay Cautious — Boo Soon Yew

By CodeBlue | 19 October 2020

How well, especially in Penang Prison where EMCO is now implemented, are the 320 petugas and their families coping?

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We are entering a daily phase in Penang where 5pm onwards keeps us glued to Kementerian Kesihatan Malaysia (KKM) social media for announcement of the latest updated cases till 12 noon for the day.

Penang had 45 cases yesterday, 18/10/2020, spread out through all Daerah & Klusters. The current count for each District or Daerah are as follows:

  • 394 DTL: 392 prisoners + 2 “lain-lain saringan” from Mukim 13.. but excluding 6 discharged cases (also prisoners)
  • 0 DBD: which is great!!
  • 2 SPU: still from the “saringan kendiri” reported on 13/10 with all credit to the 2 individuals stepping forward to be tested.
  • 78 SPS: 72 prisoners, 1 Lockup prisoner, 5 part of Kluster Alma (4 from Mukim 6 & 1 from Mukim 9)
  • 4 SPT: 2 part of Kluster Alma (Mukim 15) + 2 earlier Sabah returnee related cases (1/10 & either 6/10 or 7/10).

All in all, a total of 478 active cases:

  • 464 – Prisoners (97%)
  • 7 – Kluster Alma
  • 1 – Lockup, SPS Mukim 11
  • 2 – Sabah returnee related, SPT Mukim 1
  • 2 – saringan kendiri, SPU Mukim 6
  • 2 – “lain-lain saringan”, DTL Mukim 13

So as we look at the numbers in perspective, we are looking at a mere 3 per cent of community cases and even then, these are cases which have been basically identified, isolated, and are now treated in Penang Hospital.

Oh, and in case many in Penang are still petrified of the 390+ prisoners as cases warded in Penang Hospital, rest assured they are not. The State Health Department Director had explained that all prison cases are treated within the prison compound. Only Category 3 cases are sent to the hospital, assuming they are serious enough to warrant proper hospital admission.

Hence we are back to the 3 per cent of community cases in Penang, as of 18/10/2020 and among these, 7 were swiftly identified as Kluster Alma. This new cluster started with index case 18066 who was reported as a SARI case on 15/10, after showing symptoms on 14/10. Upon contact tracing, 3 close contacts were identified and reported on 17/10, from both SPT & SPS. And yesterday, 18/10, 3 more close contacts were added, all from SPS.

Credit must go to Penang Health Department officers who were able to complete their contact tracing task so fast! All within 4 days!

Which comes back to our 97 per cent prison cases. How well, especially in Penang Prison where EMCO is now implemented, are the 320 petugas and their families coping? Are food supplies readily available for them? How about the prisoners, both the positive and negative? What measures are taken to do circuit breakers? Do they share personal items or toiletries ?

Let not Penang turn into what happened in Kedah and Sabah! Situations in those two states turned bad, and is still bad especially for Sabah. Kedah seems to have turned the corner or flattened the curve, as they say.

Yet, we in Penang may need to respond to the #KitaJagaKita clarion call.

  • This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of CodeBlue.
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