Covid-19 situation fast deteriorating in Kapit once MCO lifted

A file photo of part of the newly completed Kapit Waterfront.

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By Karen Bong

KUCHING, Feb 17: Only after two days since the Movement Control Order (MCO) was lifted, Kapit’s Covid-19 situation has worsened rapidly with total local cases jumping to 213 over the past two weeks compared to 41 cases registered on Feb 1.

Two new clusters dubbed Gelong and Jan Yong were also being declared within the last 48 hours with cumulative numbers of positive cases at 49 and 14 respectively.

As the number of cases breached 40 on Feb 1, the small town on the south bank of the Rajang River had turned into a high-risk red zone of Covid-19 pandemic spread.

Kapit, which was previously isolated from the rest of Sarawak, was in the safe green zone with zero cases as the upriver timber town was only connected through riverine transport.

But today, accessibility to Kapit is no longer an issue with the completion of the Sibu-Kapit road which had brought pure joy and relief to not only town people but also longhouse folks residing further upstream in Baleh, Pelagus, right up to Belaga town which is the last major upriver settlement along the mighty Rajang River.

With growing traffic as the new road has been opened to the public, it appeared that communities in Kapit were also quick to be hit with an increasing number of cases especially after picking up infections from the notorious Pasai Cluster which originated from Sibu and had spread to a number of districts throughout Sarawak including its neighbouring district of Song.

In efforts to contain the spread of infections, the State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) had immediately placed Kapit and Song districts under Movement Control Order (MCO) from Feb 2 until 15.

SDMC had in a statement today announced the new Jan Yong Cluster after 14 positive Covid-19 cases were detected in a longhouse located at Sungai Yong.

The index case is Case 7,043 who is a 21-year-old lady who had travel history to high-risk Covid-19 area of Sibu. She was detected through active case detection (ACD) carried out by the Kapit Health Division.

As of today as at 12pm, 46 individuals have been screened whereby three are still awaiting lab test results.

Yesterday (Feb 16), Gelong Cluster was formed in the community of Taman Sri Gelong at Jalan Selirik with the index case being Case 6,581 who is a 47-year-old local man detected from symptomatic screening at a health clinic on Feb 13.

Investigation found that the case had attended his father’s funeral on Jan 30 until Feb 2 which ceremony only involved close family members.

The cluster recorded 13 cases yesterday and another 35 new cases today, thus pushing the cluster tally to 49 cases.

As of today, 86 individuals have been screened whereby 37 are still awaiting lab test results.

Currently, 203 Covid-19 patients are being isolated and treated at Kapit Hospital as well as the Quarantine and Low-Risk Treatment Centre (PKRC) Kapit.

Of the 12 districts in Sarawak under the red zone, Kapit was second in the list with highest number of local cases at 213 behind Sibu with 1,027 cases followed by Bintulu (161), Subis and Beluru (133 each), Miri (125), Song (120), Julau (80), Dalat (65), Samarahan (57), Kanowit (47), and Kuching (43). — DayakDaily