302 close contacts of Covid-19 in Kota Samarahan have not been screened

Uggah (centre) and Minister for Local Government and Housing Dato Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian (right) visiting the ACD operations in Kota Samarahan here.

By Karen Bong

KUCHING, Apr 29: The healthcare teams are going all out to pick up 302 close contacts of Covid-19 cases from Kota Samarahan who have yet to be screened for testing.

As such the ongoing Covid-19 Active Case Detection operations at Taman Desa Ilmu and Uni Garden in Kota Samarahan which started yesterday (Apr 28) here have covered 547 houses with 2,424 people interviewed as of today.

State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) chairman Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas emphasised with 20 Covid-19 cases reported in the housing areas over the past 14 days, it meant there was still transmission of the virus within the areas but yet to be detected.

“The operations will give an impact, we want to pick up the positive cases in the communities there and cut of the chain of transmission,” he told reporters after observing the team carrying operations in Kota Samarahan today.

A total of 50 teams from 20 government agencies were involved in detecting positive cases, trace close contacts and conduct screenings at two facilities set up in the respective housing areas.

“We are happy that about 100 residents have gone for the tests yesterday (April 28). The public was very cooperative as well,” he said while recording appreciation towards the residents for showing the best attitude.

Uggah emphasised that this operation was not an enhanced MCO or EMCO but the guidelines were slightly higher than normal MCO.

“We just try to control the movement of people in and out of the neighbourhoods so that the personnel can go door to door (to detect, trace and screen the residents).

“It is estimated that there are 3,500 families living in these neighbourhoods so if teams can cover 500 houses a day, it will be done in a week hopefully,” he said.

Uggah pointed out that if the operations wete successful, it could possibly be carried out in other areas with high number of Covid-19 cases.

“I wish to also apologise to the residents here for the inconvenience caused but it is done in their interest to contain and curb the Covid-19 outbreak here and ultimately Sarawak will win the fight against the coronavirus.”

On whether legal action will be taken against those to refuse to get tested, Uggah replied: “Why don’t you want to be tested when it will give you a piece of mind and it is free!

“It is important for them. There are a lot of people who want to get tested but we have selected (those most needed) due to limited testing kits,” he added.

On the ACD operation, Samarahan District Health Office epidemiology officer Dr Wong Kung Yee briefed that of 87 people asked to go for testing, 51 were actually screened.

“Almost 60 per cent has turned up for screening,” he said of the response of the people in the affected areas.

He added that a total of 5,724 known close contacts had been identified in Kota Samarahan.

Since the start of testing in Samarahan from mid-March, Dr Wong revealed that a total of 4,899 samples had been taken with 79 positive cases or 1.6 per cent which was well below the maximum of 10 per cent set by World Health Organisation (WHO) as indicator for effective testing.

“Another 3,824 or 78.1 per cent tests came back negative, while results for 996 tests or 20.3 per cent are still pending,” he said.—DayakDaily

Dr Wong (right) briefing Uggah on the situation of the ACD operations in Kota Samarahan.