Sharp drop in Sibu Covid-19 cases from 149 to 17

Sibu's iconic landmark — the swan statue by the Rajang River.

By Lian Cheng

KUCHING, March 9: Covid-19 cases in Sibu plunged from 149 yesterday to 17 today.

Out of today’s 17 reported cases, only two exhibited symptoms and have been admitted to health facilities in Sibu.

The remainder are asymptomatic cases, with 13 were detected through active contact tracing while one case involved Jalan Awang Cluster, which is the cluster stemming from the transit centre inside Sibu New Prison.

There was also a positive case involving a medical personnel working in a health facility.

When Covid-19 hit Sarawak’s shores beginning of last year, Sibu was able to keep the number of Covid-19 cases low.

Beginning of this year, however, the riverine town became a headline fixture following an outbreak at Pasai Siong, which created the Pasai Cluster, the most prolific cluster in Sarawak to date.

The index case returned from Johor to attend a funeral. Many who attended the same funeral later tested positive for Covid-19.

On Jan 8, the eight longhouses in Pasai Siong were placed under lockdown but the stringent measure was unsuccessful in curbing the spread of the coronavirus, with longhouse residents using “jalan tikus” to circumvent lockdown measures.

Following the outbreak in Pasai Siong, the Sibu Rural District Council issued a severe warning of a possible surge of Covid-19 cases in Sibu Jaya as early as Jan 29, 2021.

With Covid-19 cases continuing to spread unabated in Sibu, the Sarawak Disaster Management Committee decided to put Sibu, Kanowit and Selangau in a three-week lockdown to curb infections from spreading further.

After the lockdown, the Sibu Division Disaster Management Committee changed its tactics in tackling the Covid-19 outbreak in Sibu by dividing the district into zones and focussing more on areas with higher numbers of infections, of which Sibu Jaya since February has been a prominent area.

As of yesterday, out of 149 cases from Sibu, 109 were detected from the Sibu Jaya flats. — DayakDaily