Zero Fully Vaccinated Victims Among Sarawak Covid-19 Deaths

The Sarawak state health department cautions that a minority of fully vaccinated individuals can still get infected, albeit with mild symptoms, and have the potential to transmit the virus.

KUALA LUMPUR, August 9 — No fully inoculated individuals were among 449 Covid-19 deaths reported in Sarawak as of yesterday, said the state health department.

According to Sarawak state health department director Dr Mohamed Sapian Mohamed, out of the 449 coronavirus-related fatalities reported in the state, 425 cases (94.6 per cent) did not receive any Covid-19 vaccines, 21 cases (4.7 per cent), received the first dose by the time they tested positive for the virus, and three cases (0.7 per cent) were detected with Covid-19 within two weeks from their second dose.

“This means that to date, Sarawak has not reported any death caused by Covid-19 among individuals who completed Covid-19 immunisation (at least 14 days after completing vaccine doses),” Dr Mohamed Sapian said in a statement, without stating the vaccine brand breakdown in the state.

He noted that as of yesterday, 88.2 per cent of eligible adults in Sarawak have received at least one vaccine dose, including 75.9 per cent who completed vaccination with double doses. Based on the state’s total population, 63.3 per cent have been vaccinated with at least one dose, including 54.4 per cent fully inoculated.

Hospital admission rates for Covid-19 patients in Categories Three to Five in Sarawak declined to an average of 5.5 cases a day this month up to August 8 (or 1.83 per cent of total hospital admissions of positive cases), from an average of 9.1 cases daily last month (3.05 per cent of total hospital admissions of positive cases).

The number of Covid-19 cases requiring critical care also dropped from an average of 83 cases a day in June to 45 cases daily in July, before declining further to 27 cases a day on average this month up to August 8.

“The Sarawak state health department wishes to stress that Covid-19 immunisation is safe and effective in reducing the risk for severe disease or death, including the Delta variant or other VOC (variants of concern),” said Dr Mohamed Sapian.

“However, immunisation cannot fully prevent the risk of infection with the Covid-19 virus. Covid-19 infection can still occur in a small number of individuals who complete immunisation, but symptoms are typically mild.

“In fact, individuals who complete immunisation still have the potential to infect other people and endanger high-risk groups, especially those who are immunocompromised because of chronic disease, cancer, or who are receiving immunosuppressive treatment.”

He urged the remaining 11.8 per cent of eligible adults in Sarawak to get vaccinated not only to protect themselves from severe Covid-19 illness, but also to protect groups ineligible for coronavirus inoculation such as minors below the age of 18 or those with contraindications to the jab.

Dr Mohamed Sapian also reminded double-vaccinated individuals to continue maintaining standard operating procedures (SOPs) like wearing face masks and practicing physical distancing.

“If you face symptoms like fever, cough, sore throat, breathing difficulty, fatigue, body aches, diarrhoea, and vomiting without identified causes, please seek immediate screening and treatment in the nearest health facility even if your symptoms are mild.”

Sarawak recorded an average of 600 daily Covid-19 cases in the past seven days from today at a daily incidence rate of 21.3 cases per 100,000 population, higher than the 12.2 threshold set for Phase Two of the National Recovery Plan (NRP). Sarawak is currently in Phase Three. Nonetheless, Sarawak only reported six Covid-19 deaths in the past week.

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