Dr Noor Hisham: Covid-19 involving healthcare workers in Sarawak under control

Dr Noor Hisham fielding questions from the press.

By Karen Bong

KUCHING, Apr 29: Ministry of Health (MOH) assured that Covid-19 cases among healthcare workers in Kuching was under control and there was no need for Sarawak General Hospital (SGH) to be locked down.

Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah pointed out that none of the healthcare staff involved in the intensive care unit (ICU) or taking care of Covid-19 patients in Sarawak General Hospital (SGH) had been infected with Covid-19.

“Most of the healthcare worker positive cases were not contracted from the hospital but may have come from outside community. Those infected with Covid-19 are from other healthcare departments.

“The Covid-19 cases among healthcare workers in Kuching is under control but we do see one case but there was no exponential or surge in cases,” he told a daily press conference on Covid-19 in Putrajaya today.

Although there were three major clusters in Kuching, namely the Italy patient-under-investigation (PUI), church conference, and healthcare workers, he said that there was no significant increase in cases.

“Just one or two (cases) and these exposure perhaps took place two to three weeks ago. So it is under control at the moment,” he added.

Dr Noor Hisham was responding to a letter which was reported to have been circulated on social media, by a person called “concerned citizen”, alleging that 51 healthcare workers in SGH have tested positive for Covid-19 as of April 21.

The writer thus questioned as to why the hospital was not on lockdown or imposing a partial lockdown to contain the spread of the virus unlike other locations with more than 40 Covid-19 cases which have been imposed with enhanced movement control order (EMCO).

Dr Noor Hisham explained that close contacts and family members of staff tested positive for Covid-19 have been identified while the positive cases have been isolated and treated while close contacts were also tested and would be quarantined for 14 days.

“Meantime, services at hospital will continue because there will be other staff to cover for them. Sanitising are also carried out on respective areas exposed to the virus.

“We have also looked into confine spaces such as the pantry where infections could have spread in which sanitising activities have been done,” he said.

More importantly, he stressed that social distancing, practising hand hygiene and regular sanitising must become the measures that have to be taken and practised.—DayakDaily

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