Dormitory ‘gotong royong’ session ignites new cluster with 23 cases in Kapit infecting chefs, staff, students

File photo depicting bunk beds at a student dormitory.

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By Ling Hui

KUCHING, April 23: A secondary school spring cleaning (‘gotong royong’) event in Kapit has sparked a new Jalan Selirik Cluster with 23 Covid-19 cases that has infected dormitory kitchen chefs, staff members and students.

The State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) said the index case of this cluster involved a 15-year-old hostel student who was detected through a symptomatic screening on April 12.

“The case has been in the school dormitory since the start of the schooling session on April 4 and the patient started to show signs and symptoms of infection on April 5.

“Investigations found that the spread of the virus happened through a ‘gotong royong’ activity conducted on April 4 at the dormitory involving close contact between students and the school staff,” it said in a statement today.

The committee thus inferred that the cause of infection of this cluster originated from the community before it infected the school community via close contact.

A total of 108 individuals have been screened where 23 cases including the index case tested positive for Covid-19, while the remaining 85 individuals are awaiting laboratory test results.

SDMC assured that all 23 positive cases have been admitted to Kapit Hospital and Quarantine and Treatment Centres for Covid-19 (PKRC) for isolation and treatment purposes.

The Jalan Selirik Cluster is one of the two new clusters reported today. The other new cluster has been designated as the Jalan Roban Lama Cluster involving a Form Six college in Saratok.

This brings the number of active clusters in Sarawak to 56. — DayakDaily