Funerals, other mass gatherings cause Covid-19 spike in just 2 months

Dr Chin Zin Hing (file pic)

KUCHING, Feb 27: Mass gathering activities that led to the creation of 21 clusters with four linked to funerals, 11 linked to social gatherings, five linked to workplaces and one linked to a wedding, have become the key factor contributing to the sharp spike of Covid-19 cases in Sarawak in just two months into 2021.

State Health director Dr Chin Zin Hing added that failure to adhere to standard operating procedures (SOP) including physical distancing as well as proper wearing of face masks and hand hygiene have also compounded to the worsening Covid-19 situation in the State.

“Based on report and analysis, many clusters have emerged due to gathering of people.

“There are four funeral clusters detected in Sibu, Beluru, Kapit and Kuching respectively. The size of the clusters is between 25 and 2,000 cases.

“There are 11 social gathering clusters with three in Kuching, two in Samarahan and one each in Serian, Sri Aman, Kapit, Julau, Betong and Bau. The cluster size is between 17 and 61 cases.

“As for the five workplace clusters, two are reported in Bintulu, and one each in Matu, Meradong and Sri Aman. The cluster size is between 10 and 35 cases.

“One wedding cluster was declared in Miri with total of 187 positive cases,” he revealed in a statement yesterday (Feb 26).

With local transmission of Covid-19 in the general community has increased and still taking place, Dr Chin warned that the virus was just waiting for opportunity to spread from those who have contracted the disease, either symptomatic or asymptomatic, to those coming in contact with them.

“Transmissions or infections can happen whether in crowded places, confined spaces, during close conversation as well as when dining and drinking as face masks are off,” he stressed.

As such, the State Health Department called for cooperation from the public to avoid or participate in any gathering activities as the risks of infection were high in that setting.

“At the same time, the public are advised to be vigilant and comply with SOP or any health and safety guidelines still enforced at all times to cut the chain of transmission,” he added.

Dr Chin reminded that high risk of infections take place when an individual participates in a gathering and subsequently spreads the virus to family members and colleagues.

“Show more concern in protecting family members and colleagues by not exposing oneself  to the risk of contracting the disease,” he urged. — DayakDaily