Pasai cluster hard to nip, spreads infection in Sibu and five other districts

Roadblock at Pasai Siong, Sibu where a number of longhouses are under lockdown. File Photo

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By Karen Bong

KUCHING, Feb 5: Kanowit is the latest district to be devastated by Covid-19 outbreak after recording 21 cases linked to the Pasai Cluster today.

Sibu continued to top the list of daily infections related to the cluster with 28 cases followed by Dalat (7), Kapit (5), and one each in Song, Sebauh, Beluru and Sarikei.

Since the Pasai Cluster outbreak on Dec 29, 2020, the total number of cases has increased to 2,211 as of today (Feb 5).

Even though prevention measures and restrictions have been introduced by the State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) to break the chain of infections, it appeared that the root and branch of this stubborn Pasai Cluster were extremely difficult to be destroyed and eliminated.

It seemed more time is needed to tame down this notorious cluster which has spread to at least 10 small districts in Sarawak as more cases were being picked up daily mainly due to non-compliance with the standard operating procedure (SOP) and lack of discipline.

SDMC chairman Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas has yesterday (Feb 4) advised longhouse folks to refrain from crowding and gathering even though communal dwelling was a significant culture of longhouse as such superspreader events have led to 74 people in one longhouse being infected with Covid-19.

SDMC informed today that a total of 24,000 individuals have been screened whereby 21,650 were negative while 639 are still awaiting lab test results.

With two new clusters of Sebangkoi in Sri Aman and Jun Heng in Bintulu being declared today, there are a total of 14 active clusters in Sarawak currently.

Sebangkoi Cluster has registered 21 cases with 80 individuals tested negative while 96 are still waiting for results.

Jun Heng Cluster registered 19 cases with 83 individuals still awaiting results.

Other than the three clusters mentioned, Jalan Pengiran Cluster in Matu added three cases today to increase the cluster tally to 23 with seven individuals still waiting for results.

The Rakut Cluster in Bintulu added one case to push the cluster toll to 151 whereby no cases are awaiting lab test results.

The remaining nine clusters namely Bintang Daily in Meradong, Tabong in Bau, Bedayan in Serian, Bukit Sekubong in Sebau, Jelita and Bah Sayap in Miri as well as Indah Riang, Keranji Tabuan and Stutong in Kuching did not record any cases today.

Only the new Bintang Daily Cluster which recorded eight Covid-19 cases so far has 14 individuals still awaiting lab test results.

Meanwhile, Sarawak reported four Covid-19 fatalities in Sibu and 178 new cases today with Sibu topping the list of daily infections at 67 cases, followed by Bintulu (24), Dalat (23), Kanowit (21), Kapit (10), Miri (6), Song (5), Samarahan (5), three each in Kuching and Matu, two each in Selangau, Sebauh, and Beluru and one each on Sarikei, Bau, Subis, Julau and Lawas.

This thus pushed the state tally of positive cases to 5,272 and the state death toll to 48. -DayakDaily