‘Makan beras baru’ gathering catalyst for Covid-19 cluster in Lundu, 72 cases confirmed so far

Paddy. — DayakDaily.com file pic. // Photo: Pixabay

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By Ling Hui

KUCHING, April 29: A family’s gathering to celebrate the end of their paddy harvest (‘makan beras baru’) at Kampung Sileng Dayak, Lundu provided an opportunity for Covid-19 to spread from a 46-year-old Sarawakian male to 71 other villagers.

The State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) said the man who tested positive for Covid-19 on April 20 via symptomatic screening had attended the gathering and infected other villagers via close contact.

This then triggered a community cluster which has been named the Sileng Dayak Cluster in Lundu.

The committee added the index case experienced chest pains and difficulties in breathing before he went for a checkup at the Lundu Hospital.

Subsequently, SDMC on April 22 announced the implementation of the 14-day Enhanced Movement Control Order (EMCO) on the entire village from April 23 to May 5.

Targeted screening tests on a total of 1,740 individuals then revealed 72 positive cases including the index case and 1,454 negative cases, with 214 more people awaiting laboratory test results.

The Sileng Dayak Cluster is one out of six new clusters declared in Sarawak today. The other clusters are the Tabuan Jaya, Taman Pelita and Tabuan Melayu Clusters in Kuching, Durin Cluster in Bau and the Sains Bakam Cluster in Miri.

With these new clusters, Sarawak now has 71 active clusters, from which 10 clusters recorded an increase in daily infections at a total of 50 cases today.

These clusters are Melugu with 12 cases, Icom and Pondok (8 cases each), Jalan Disa (7 cases), Duranda Emas (6 cases), Tarat Tani (4 cases), Disso (2 cases), while Kampung Tengah, Sungai Tuah and Jalan Maju has one case each. — DayakDaily