Pasai Cluster rampages: The storm before the calm?

Signboard prohibiting outsiders from entering Pasai Siong.

By Karen Bong

KUCHING, Jan 22: Sarawak’s biggest cluster, the Pasai Cluster, climbed back into triple-digit figures with 112 new Covid-19 cases reported in the past 24 hours and pushed the cluster tally to 1,094 cases as of today.

Sarawak recorded 229 new confirmed cases today, the highest Covid-19 daily cases in the State to date since the pandemic was declared in March 2020.


State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) chairman Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas informed that a total of 10,250 individuals from Pasai Cluster have been screened whereby 7,500 were negative and 1,656 were still awaiting test results.

Pasai Siong, which is the epicentre of the fourth wave of Covid-19 pandemic outbreak in Sarawak, has adversely impacted Sibu district, which today registered the highest number of cases statewide at 168 with 89 cases linked to the Pasai Cluster while 79 community cases detected from health screening at various healthcare facilities in the district.

With Pasai Cluster and Sibu district continued to see soaring Covid-19 cases, the Sibu Hospital is currently filled up with record 999 patients as of today, an increase of 158 patients compared to Jan 20 with 841 patients.

Three patients in Sibu Hospital also required the support of medical equipment but their conditions were reported to be stable.

As the Covid-19 cases from the Pasai Cluster had spread to other districts in Sarawak, Miri recorded the second highest number of cases linked to the cluster with 10 cases followed by Kanowit adding seven cases to the cluster.

Simanggang was not spared with six cases reported today related to the same cluster.

Meanwhile, the Pasai Cluster was started by an infected individual who had returned from Johore on Dec 29, 2020 to attend a funeral. She was later tested positive for Covid-19 and contact tracing resulted in mass screening in her longhouse as well as nearby longhouses.

By that time when double digit infections were detected, the disease has been brought back by guests attending the funeral to their respective longhouses across Sarawak, reaching as far as Belaga.

Due to the high number of Covid-19 infections, eight longhouses at Pasai Siong have been placed under lockdown since Jan 8, 2021 but the fast spread of the cases has caused Sibu Division including Kanowit and Selangau to be placed under Movement Control Order (MCO) to stop the spread of infections. — DayakDaily