By Karen Bong
KUCHING, May 8: Young children below 12 years of age accounted for 20 per cent of the Covid-19 cases in Sarawak.
Minister for Local Government and Housing Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian, in revealing this, pointed out that 50 per cent of cases were between 20 to 40-years-old.
“We are still monitoring (the pattern of infections among young children) as the Covid-19 pandemic evolves.
“Moreover, most of them were asymptomatic. So whether they will develop symptoms or not (in later stages of the pandemic), we still do not know,” he shared during Kuching South City Council (MBKS) Mayor Dato Wee Hong Seng’s Facebook live session with the community today.
As young children below 15-years-old are still not eligible for Covid-19 vaccines, Dr Sim who is also State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) advisor, emphasised that authorities needed to look into how to better protect them against the highly contagious virus.
“But only Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine has been approved to be given to adolescents of 16-years-old and above with Canada being the first country to authorise it,” he said.
But two days ago, global news reported that Canada health authority has approved the use of Pfizer vaccine in 12 to 15-years-old.
Cautioning that the next three to four weeks are the most critical period as Sarawak has taken extra measures to bring number of cases down, Dr Sim thus called on the public to play their roles seriously by having self-discipline and adhering to all standard operating procedures (SOP) to protect oneself and in turn others.
The Covid-19 situation in Sibu Division, he said, had demonstrated that cases have travelled back and forth between urban and longhouses in the rural areas due to the movement of people.
“That’s why in urban areas, schools have been closed to reduce the risk of exposure and surge in cases within the school community. School-going children who are infected can bring the virus back to their family and could put elderly family members like grandparents at risk.
“Other places deemed to have high risk of exposure include workplaces which can be seen in Sibu also where many offices were closed,” he added.
Sibu Municipal Council chairman Clarence Ting also joined the session. — DayakDaily