Kuching and Bintulu return to yellow status as Sarawak records 8 new Covid-19 cases

Covid-19 statistics for Sarawak as of Oct 8, 2020.

By Karen Bong

KUCHING, Oct 8: Sarawak confirmed eight new Covid-19 cases today and confirmed a new cluster named the Bah Arnab which is linked to Case 719 who had a history of travel to Sabah and resulted in three confirmed cases.

This latest cases take Sarawak’s total numbers of cases to 732.

State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) chairman Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas revealed that there were four locally transmitted cases, two imported cases from overseas and two domestic imported cases.

“Five cases were in Kuching, two in Miri and one in Bintulu.

“With new local cases, Kuching and Bintulu districts have reverted to Covid-19 yellow zones,” he disclosed in a press conference on the Covid-19 situation here today.

On the Bah Arnab cluster in Kuching, Uggah revealed that Case 719 which was confirmed on Oct 6 is the index case.

“A total of 16 close contacts to the case were screened and three of them were found to be positive on Oct 8, identified as Case 729, 730 and 731.

“The three cases are household contacts to Case 719. They were traced through active case detection activity,” he explained.

The three cases were asymptomatic and are now isolated and warded in Sarawak General Hospital (SGH).

The Deputy Chief Minister however gave assurance that the cluster is still under control as the cases only involved close family members.

Nevertheless, he said that further investigation and contact tracing in relation to the cluster are still actively being conducted by the State Health Department to prevent serious spread of the disease.

On other local transmissions, Uggah added that Case 725 was linked to Case 724 which was confirmed on Oct 7.

“The case was screened under active case detection and the result returned positive. The patient was asymptomatic and is now warded in Bintulu Hospital. The case was suspected to have been exposed between Sept 27 and Oct 7.

“The other contacts to Case 724 were found to be negative on the first swab test and will be going for a second test on the 10th day,” he said.

For the imported cases from overseas, Uggah explained that Case 726 and 727 involved Indian nationals who entered Sarawak to work with a private company in Miri.

“The cases arrived in Malaysia on Sept 17 through Kuala Lumpur and had completed 14-day mandatory quarantines as well as Covid-19 screening twice. The first test using rT-PCR and the second test using RTK Antigen, both were negative for Covid-19.

“The men then proceeded to Miri on Oct 4 and they were brought to a quarantine centre as well as underwent tests in a private hospital on Oct 7. The results returned positive. Contact tracing is being carried out,” he added.

There were also two domestic imported cases. Case 728 involved a local man who had travelled to Kelana Jaya, Selangor and stayed there from Sept 22-27 to visit family members.

Worried about his health as he experienced a fever since Sept 27, the case had gone for screening on Oct 6 at a health clinic. The test result returned positive on Oct 8.

“He was referred and admitted to the SGH for treatment. Close contact tracing and further investigations are still being carried out,” Uggah said.

Case 732 involved a local man who took a business trip to Sabah from Sept 19 to 29.

Before returning to Sarawak, Uggah explained, the man had taken a Covid-19 test in a private laboratory but the result was negative and he was allowed to travel and to enter Sarawak.

“Upon arrival at Kuching International Airport (KIA), he was ordered to complete home quarantine and screening on the 10th day. The test done on Oct 6 at a government health clinic retured positive on Oct 7.

“He was asymptomatic and is now admitted to SGH. Further investigations and contact tracing are actively being conducted,” Uggah said.

With the new eight cases today, there are a total of 29 patients receiving treatment in hospitals in the state currently, with 16 in SGH, eight in Miri Hospital, three in Sibu Hospital and two in Bintulu Hospital.

There were no recoveries and discharges recorded today. As such, the total number of recovered cases in Sarawak is maintained at 684 or 93.44 per cent of total positive cases so far.

Sibu and Lawas maintained their Covid-19 yellow zone status with Lawas recording three local cases while Sibu recorded two local cases within the past 14 days.

Sarawak also recorded 16 more Persons-Under-Investigation (PUI) with four cases pending laboratory test results.

There were also 89 more Persons-Under-Surveillance (PUS) checked into identified hotels to undergo quarantine.

As of today, there were a total number of 1,495 individuals undergoing quarantine in 15 hotels throughout the state. — DayakDaily