Dr Sim warns Sarawakians to be on high alert to prevent spread of coronavirus

Dr Sim Kui Hian at his CNY open house.

By Peter Sibon

KUCHING, Jan 24: The whole country now must be on high alert with the spread of the deadly Wuhan coronavirus, said Minister of Local Government and Housing Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian.

He advised those who have just returned from China over the last two weeks to see their doctors and self-quarantine themselves to prevent the spread of the Wuhan coronavirus which has no cure.

“Those who have come back from China in the last 14 days must be on high alert. The minute they have cough and those kinds of symptoms, they need to go straight to the hospital,” Dr Sim told the media at his Chinese New Year open house today.

He reiterated that since there was no ready vaccine, everybody must be vigilant and on high alert.


Dr Sim said he was giving the advice to members of the public in his capacity as a qualified medical doctor.

“And those who came back from China, they must self-quarantine themselves for 14 days if possible, because we cannot force you. During this period of time if you have fever and cough, you must go straight to hospital because one in four of those infected persons will develop severe pneumonia and it will keep on evolving because it is a new virus and nobody knows about it and that’s why there is no cure,” he warned.

Dr Sim warned that the spread of the virus was so severe in China at the moment that the Chinese government had taken measures to lock down ten cities during the Chinese New Year celebration.

“It will take time to find the cause but at the moment. We need to observe personal hygiene such as washing of hands. And most importantly, those who have come back from China must be vigilant and hopefully carry out self-quarantine,” he said.

Dr Sim said the Wuhan coronavirus was similar to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) which killed 775 people out of 8,000 cases during its 9-month outbreak in 2002-2003.

“We have to be vigilant in fighting the spread of the virus. Those who have contracted the virus might already be in our country as we speak,” he said.

Coronavirus is also similar to Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). —DayakDaily