Authorities keeping a close watch on rising number of Covid-19 cases in Sibu

Covid-19 (file photo)

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By William Isau

SIBU, Feb 9: The number of new Covid-19 cases in Sibu Division has been climbing starting from the week of February 1, the first day of the Chinese New Year celebration.

The Sibu Divisional Disaster Management Committee in a statement today said a total of 35 cases were reported yesterday.

“This upward trend has occurred since the Chinese New Year celebrations on February 1,” it said.

It said the number of weekly cases also showed an upward trend, that is from 15 cases in the first week (Jan 2-8) and 19 cases in the second week to 49 cases in the fifth week (30 Jan-5 Feb 2022).

Despite that the utilisation of beds in Sibu Hospital for Covid-19 cases is still low where the Bed Occupancy Rate (BOR) for the Covid-19 ward until today is still below 20 per cent.

Only two cases currently at Sibu Hospital require oxygen assistance.

The Quarantine and Treatment Centre (PKRC) in Sibu Division is still empty for now. This PKRC can accommodate a total of 360 patients (200 from Sibu, 100 from Kanowit and 60 from Selangau).

SDDMC said a new PKRC for high risk cases is being developed inside the Sibu Hospital compound with a capacity of 100 beds and will be ready for use soonest.

The Covid-19 booster dose vaccination rate for adults in Sibu Division has reached 187,158 doses as of Feb 7 which is 86.47 per cent of the total eligible adult population as of the end of January 2022.

“All adults who have not received the dose are encouraged to take such vaccinations as soon as possible at any health clinic in Sibu Division and also in some private clinics or hospitals. Data for Malaysia shows that individuals who have not been vaccinated are nine times more likely to be infected and 62 times more likely to die from Covid-19 than individuals who have completed the vaccination or have taken a booster dose,” it said.

SDDMC also said that on Feb 7, the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme for children aged 5 to 11 started in Sibu Division with 920 doses given (620 in Sibu, 200 in Selangau and 100 in Kanowit).

The programme is estimated to involve about 32,000 children in Sibu Division and will be run in primary schools until March 2022 for the first dose.

SDDMC urged parents who have not yet registered their children aged between 5 to under 12 years of age to receive the vaccination to do so.

The committee also urged the public to continue to adapt to the new norms and adhere to standard operating procedures (SOPs) in view of the upward trend in Covid-19 cases.

This includes the wearing of face masks and observing physical distancing while outdoors.

In addition, the public is advised to do self-screening before visiting family in villages or longhouses.

Employers are also encourage to continue allowing employees to work from home or implement attendance rotation in the office to create a safe workplace environment. — DayakDaily