PUI Sivagangga cluster, potential cause of ‘second wave’ in Penang and Perlis

Timeline breakdown of PUI Sivagangga Cluster. Sourced from Ministry of Health (MOH) official website.

By Ling Hui

KUCHING, Aug 8: A potential “second wave” of Covid-19 spread in Penang and Perlis is confirmed to be caused by the PUI Sivagangga cluster when both states have been seeing zero positive cases for some time.

Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the new cases in Penang (one case) and Perlis (10 cases) reported yesterday (Aug 7) were indeed related to the PUI Sivagangga cluster which was announced on July 28 when the first six positive cases were detected in Kedah.

Among the first batch of Covid-19 patients was a local restaurant owner, aged 57, (Case 8,937 in Malaysia), who failed to abide by the home surveillance order (HSO) after returning from Sivagangga, India.

Two days after the declaration of the cluster (July 31), two customers who visited the restaurant were tested positive.

Following that, the second generation infection which involved the family members of the infected customers was formed which further led to the ‘predicament’ in the two neighbouring states.

This was how the cross-region transmission from Kedah to Penang and Perlis was classified as the third generation infection of the cluster.

“A total of 1,884 close contact individuals have been identified and samples from them to be taken in Perlis and Penang, following the positive case announced today (Aug 7).

“The latest breakdown of cluster positive cases according to the states are 31 cases in Kedah, 11 cases from Perlis and 1 case from Penang,” said Dr Noor Hisham in his Facebook post yesterday.

He also pointed out the 10 cases in Perlis and the 9,002th case reported in Perlis on August 4 were all from one family whereby one of the family members was a regular customer of the stall owned by the patient in the first generation transmission.

As for the single new Covid-19 case in Penang (Case 9,052), the male patient was a health officer working at the Ministry of Health (MOH) who was screened after returning from one of the areas now under the implementation of Targetted Enhancement Movement Control Order (TEMCO).

“Close contact screening and active case detection (ACD) activities continue,” he assured.

He also stated that as of August 6 at 12 pm, a total of 3,246 individuals were screened in the cluster and 43 of them have been tested positive of Covid-19.

Some 2,320 individuals came back negative while another 883 are still awaiting laboratory test results, he added. —DayakDaily