Samarahan Covid-19 cluster: 97 close contacts yet to be screened, ACD extended

Uggah speaking at the daily Covid-19 press conference today (April 30, 2020).

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By Karen Bong

KUCHING, April 30: A total of 97 close contacts of Covid-19 cases related to the Samarahan cluster, where an Active Case Detection (ACD) operation was launched recently, have yet to be screened.

State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) chairman Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas disclosed that out of a total of 221 calls made to ask people to go for testing, only 124 persons have been screened.

“The Covid-19 ACD operations at Taman Desa Ilmu and Uni Garden in Kota Samarahan here have covered 2,288 houses in the past two days (April 28 to 29), in which 820 houses were locked without occupants,” he told a daily press conference on the Covid-19 situation in the state today.

Disclosing that the operation teams could only cover 20 per cent of the houses in Taman Desa Ilmu, he said that their meeting today thus agreed for the ACD operation to be for extended for another three days.

As for the findings in terms of negative and positive cases, he said the results were not out yet as the Samarahan Health Office is still collecting samples to be sent to the National Public Health Lab under Ministry of Health via commercial flights which only fly twice a week.

Meanwhile, Sarawak students from public varsities in Peninsular Malaysia will start arriving in Kuching tomorrow (May 1).

Uggah revealed that no complications were expected as coordination and prior arrangements on transportation have been made between Kuala Lumpur and Sarawak.

The committee, he said, has also discussed the matter with divisional disaster management committees to prepare for the return of the students.

“The SOP (standard operating procedure) for those coming from green zones is a mandatory 14-day quarantine at the point of arrival from Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Labuan.

“Those from the red and orange zone areas, they will be given wristband tags and undergo tests on the seventh day,” he said.

As for local university students returning to their respective hometowns throughout the state, the procedure for which is coordinated by Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas), Uggah said there was no issue for inter-divisional movement.

“The police have been informed. There was a group in Kuching facing problems but it is being sorted out for them due to no proper SOP being followed by them.

“Datuk Ik Pahon (Joyik) is coordinating with the director of education to sort it out for them as the procedures involve different ministries and agencies but we are happy that until now, all the loose ends have been sorted out,” he added. — DayakDaily