Sarawak finds suspected local Omicron case in Kuching, health experts warn of possible community transmission

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KUCHING, Dec 24: Sarawak has detected a suspected local Omicron case in a woman from Kuching who has no recent travel history as health authorities warned of possible local community transmission of the heavily mutated variant.

Universiti Malaysia Sarawak’s (Unimas) Institute of Health and Community Medicine (IHCM) director Prof Dr David Pereira said that the woman was among two Omicron cases detected in Kuching, out of a total of four cases reported in Sarawak as of today.

Another case detected in Kuching involved a 25-year-old woman who returned from the United Kingdom and was swabbed on Dec 22.

The two other cases were reported in Bintulu involving a 52-year-old man returning from Nigeria who was swabbed on Dec 19 and a 19-year-old man returning from the United Kingdom who was swabbed on Dec 14.

“In light of possible local transmission of the highly transmissible Omicron variant in the community, the general public is urged to be extremely cautious in this festive period of Christmas, New Year, and year-end holidays,” he said in a statement today.

Dr Pereira, a member of Sarawak Covid-19 Advisory Group (Scovag), urged the public to strictly adhere to public health standard operating procedures (SOP) and avoid community gatherings if possible to prevent further community spread.

He also advised the public to immediately get their booster shots if they have not done so yet, as studies have shown that it is necessary to boost waning neutralising antibody levels to protect from Omicron infections. — DayakDaily