Sarawak still tracking sources of active Covid-19 clusters

Dr Chin Zin Hing (file pic)

By Karen Bong

KUCHING, July 28: The source of Covid-19 infections in active clusters in Sarawak such as the Sentosa Cluster have not been identified yet.

State Health director Dr Chin Zin Hing disclosed that all contact tracing and tracking have been carried out immediately once cases emerged but the medical teams have yet to identify a single source of infection from their investigations and data.

“We are trying to gather as much information as possible and hope to identify the source of infections. Like I have mentioned yesterday for the Sentosa Cluster, we tried to get everybody in the hospital to undergo the antibody tests.

“But we will continue to carry out contact tracing and any measures needed to be done to contain and control the transmission,” he told a press conference to give Sarawak Covid-19 updates here today.

State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) chairman Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas emphasised that in general, cases in Sarawak were imported as quite a few cases tested negative at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) but tested positive when quarantined upon arrival in Kuching.

“There were also cases detected from home quarantine, which is why we assigned the armed forces personnel to safeguard and tighten security at our borders (to prevent and stop illegal immigrants from entering),” he said.

Uggah pointed out that a possible source of imported cases were ‘jalan tikus’ (illegal trails) where there have been a few cases involving unauthorised immigrants testing positive.

“Reducing the number of flights (into Sarawak) is our new standard operating procedure (SOP) from Aug 1 to 14 in which anyone coming from Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Labuan will be quarantined at designated facilities where swab tests will be taken on the second day and they will only be released if results are negative.

“If we don’t reduce the flights, we may not be able to cope with the volume of traffic coming in as there were some 1,800 arrivals per day in Kuching alone, other than Miri, Sibu, and Bintulu,” he explained.

Reducing flights and arrivals into Sarawak, Uggah added, will enable Sarawak to balance its capability in managing and tackling Covid-19 considering some hotels were taking in guests already.

“So I don’t think they want to become a quarantine facility. But if we let passengers in without being quarantined, it could lead to other issues later on,” he said. — DayakDaily