Medical team to be flown in to Long Lamai to assess possible Covid-19 outbreak

Dato Gerawat Gala

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By Lian Cheng

KUCHING, June 2: An eight-member medical health team will be dispatched to Long Lamai via helicopter to handle a probable Covid-19 outbreak there.

According to Mulu assemblyman Dato Gerawat Gala, a local Long Lamai woman had returned to the village to attend her mother’s funeral and was tested positive for Covid-19 in Miri.

“A female who went back to Long Lamai for her mother’s funeral in Long Lamai two weeks ago was tested positive upon her return to Miri through active contact tracing.

“The family’s close contacts have been identified and were brought to be placed at a quarantine centre in Miri. Swab tests have been taken and they are now waiting for the test results.

“Tomorrow (June 3, 2021), a KKM (the Health Ministry) team consisting of eight medics and health inspectors are going by Bomba’s (Fire and Rescue Department) helicopter to Long Lamai.

“The purpose is to conduct a thorough investigation and take swabs from the villagers there,” Gerawat replied in a WhatsApp message after being contacted by DayakDaily.

Gerawat, who is also Sarawak Legislative Assembly Deputy Speaker said Miri Divisional Disaster Management Committee is presently coordinating the entire exercise together with the Miri Heath Office and Bomba to send all needed assistance to the remote village.

“Further action (i.e lockdown) will be decided upon receiving a first-hand field team report and risk assessment by the team going to Long Lamai,” said Gerawat.

Gerawat was responding to a message that called for prayers for Long Lamai, a remote village in Sarawak of 600 villagers who are mainly foragers and hunters.

According to the WhatsApp message, not only the woman who attended her mother’s funeral was tested positive, even the transporter and the transporter’s daughter have also been infected by the virus.

“Now the whole village is under quarantine, they have no clinic in the village and cannot go to a clinic in another village to seek any treatment.

“Many in the village now have coughs, fever, loss of taste and smell and shortness of breath and have to rely on herbs to try and relieve their symptoms.

“They have been advised to isolate within their homes but this means they cannot go and forage and hunt for food.

“This is a dark and difficult time for this village, they are receiving no help from the authorities,” said the message.

Gerawat urged the public to wait for the reports from the medical team, which will be dispatched tomorrow (June 3, 2021).

“I am aware there are unverified messages being viralled about the situation in Lg Lamai. Please do not get unnecessarily alarmed and listen to rumours and unverified information.

“Wait for the findings and report of the medical team who are going to Lg Lamai tomorrow,” said Gerawat. — DayakDaily