Packing 75 detainees into one room caused 433 Covid-19 cases at Serian depot

Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas

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By Ling Hui

KUCHING, March 28: Holding 75 detainees in one small room resulted in 433 infections or 94 per cent of the total of 462 inmates who have tested positive for Covid-19 at the Semuja Immigration Depot in Serian so far.

State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) chairman Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas said as of today, a total of 740 individuals have been screened, with 462 testing positive, 276 testing negative and two more awaiting test results.


Out of the 276 negative results, he said 194 of them were close contacts while the remaining 82 are staff of the immigration depot and all of them have been released from quarantine.

“This case has proven that Covid-19 is highly contagious when social distancing is not practised, and this is what happened at the Semuja Immigration Depot in Serian.

“A total of 75 detainees were found in one small room and this is where the virus spread, and because of this, 94 per cent of the 462 detainees tested positive for Covid-19,” he said during a press conference here to give updates on the Covid-19 situation in Sarawak today.

Of the 462 positive cases from the depot, he added 191 cases were reported today which contributed to 45 per cent of the total new cases in the whole of Sarawak for the past one day.

Adding on, he said SDMC has been advising people not to gather in big groups where social distancing cannot be practised.

Uggah, who is also Deputy Chief Minister, said unfortunately certain people have not been complying with the standard operating procedures (SOPs) set by SDMC and since January this year, Covid-19 cases in Sarawak increased significantly due to this reason.

“Since January 2021, we have been seeing an increase in the Covid-19 cases in Sarawak mainly due to social activities including funerals and family gatherings.

“Once again, I wish to advise everyone to continue to stick with the SOPs so as to curb the transmission of the coronavirus,” he said. — DayakDaily