Delta variant not in Sarawak yet; be extra vigilant to avoid another Pasai Cluster, says Dr Sim

Dr Sim (left) touching on the Delta variant topic as Wee (top right) and Ting (bottom right) listened on.

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By Ling Hui

KUCHING, July 3: The most fearful Covid-19 of the Delta (B.1.617.2) variant is not in Sarawak yet, but all Sarawakians must be extra vigilant to prevent a second outbreak like the Pasai Cluster.

State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) advisor Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian said the only way for the variant to enter Sarawak is from its already infected neighours, and as such, the land, sea and air borders have to be guarded strictly.

“The only way for the Delta variant to reach Sarawak is from Indonesia, Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Labuan. There are many cases reported in Peninsular Malaysia and Labuan already.

“If it (Delta) enters Sarawak, the State will go under another crisis, so everyone must cooperate and seriously understand the consequences.

“It only requires one person (with the variant) to come through (the border), like the Pasai Cluster with over 2,000 positive cases and over 30 fatalities,” he said.

Dr Sim, who is also Minister for Local Government and Housing, said the cause of recent outbreak in Labuan was the spread of the Delta variant on a plane through six foreigners from India who were about to report for work onboard a ship at Labuan port.

He said the foreign workers were in a transit flight from Kuala Lumpur to Labuan and several passengers of the same flight contracted the virus before carrying it to the community.

Thus, he stressed the importance of strict standard operating procedure (SOP) to enter Sarawak even for Sarawakians though many are complaining about the inconveniences.

Meanwhile, Dr Sim also brought up a recent arrest of two Sarawakians trying to bring 17 illegal immigrants (PATI) from Indonesia through the Sarawak border.

He said one of the two Sarawakians was infected with Covid-19 when transferring the PATI where 15 of them were positive for the virus.

“Our Sarawak border is very wide, our police and the army are still trying their best to stop such trespasses but when the border is so wide, it’s like playing ‘Tom and Jerry’.

“The PATI know the time of patrol so they cross the border after the patrol, but if Sarawakians were not there to help, it’s impossible for the PATI to know this information,” he said during Kuching South City Council (MBKS) mayor Dato Wee Hong Seng’s Facebook live session today.

Despite understanding that things are tough for some companies and foreign workers are in high demand, he pleaded for everyone not to bring more harm to Sarawakians.

Sibu Municipal Council (SMC) chairman Clarence Ting was also one of the invited guests to the Facebook live session. — DayakDaily