Dr Sim: Spike in Kuching, Samarahan Covid-19 cases sparked by CNY gatherings

Dr Sim Kui Hian

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By Ling Hui

KUCHING, Feb 25: Sudden spike in Kuching and Samarahan’s Covid-19 cases of late was largely sparked by social gatherings at bistros, eateries and private residences during Chinese New Year (CNY) celebration.

State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) advisor Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian said this as he warned the public of the last day of CNY celebration, also known as Chao Goh Mei which falls on Feb 26.

“Contact tracing for the past two weeks has indicated that social gathering at bistros, F&B (outlets), private residences in conjunction with CNY celebration is an important contributing factor to a large surge in cases in Kuching and Samarahan areas.

“The last day of CNY, Chap Goh Mei will be another hotbed event for Covid-19 transmission to occur,” he said in his Facebook post yesterday (Feb 24).

Though CNY gatherings might be one of the contributing factors, he added, all ethnic groups are at risk of Covid-19 now as positive cases have been found repeatedly from socio-cultural events associated with large gatherings.

Noting the importance of early detection, Dr Sim who is also Local Government and Housing Minister pointed out that many members of the public do not realise their potentials of being asymptomatic as they spread the virus to their loved ones.

“An isolated transient alteration in smell and/or taste sensation is enough to raise an alarm bell of Covid-19. One need not have a complete or prolonged loss of taste or smell.

“We have seen some who had already recovered from these symptoms by the time they were tracked down through contact tracing. They only admitted to having such symptoms after they were tracked down through a positive friend or relative.

“Indeed, these individuals were the most likely source of infection of their positive case friend or family member,” he explained.

With that, he urged everyone to be cooperative and for those who feel unwell not to go to work and get their swab tests in order to protect the workplace and avoid disruption in work operation.—DayakDaily