SMK Meradong hostel, the epicentre of new Sungai Bakong Cluster


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By Ling Hui

KUCHING, Feb 22: A secondary student staying in the Murni hostel at SMK Meradong nearby to Sungai Bakong is the index case of the new Sungai Bakong Cluster in Meradong today.

This was announced by State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) chairman Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas today, adding that the patient who was Covid-19 Case 7,435 was detected through a symptomatic screening on Feb 15.

Following an Active Case Detection (ACD) at the school’s hostel, he said, an additional 21 positive cases were reported.

“As of 12pm today, a total of 593 individuals have been screened where 22 cases were found positive including the index case, 37 were negative and 534 cases still awaiting laboratory test results,” he said during the Covid-19 press conference earlier today.

Adding on, he assured that all 22 cases have been admitted into the Sarikei Hospital and Quarantine and Low-Risk Treatment Centres (PKRC) for isolation and treatment purposes.

Uggah, who is also Deputy Chief Minister, said all teachers, staff and students of the hostel in SMK Meradong who were exposed have been directed to be quarantined and their movements restricted to only within the school compound.

As of today, he noted no deaths have been reported involving this cluster.

Meanwhile, another new cluster with a greater scale has emerged today which SDMC named the Emperoh Jambu Cluster.

Uggah said this community cluster involved the Kuching, Samarahan and Serian Districts where the index case or Case 7,095 was a 45-year-old Sarawakian male who was screened before reporting to work on Feb 16.

He added it was believed that the patient have spread the infection to his family members which then further expanded to close contacts in a funeral of the wife’s family from Feb 3 to 5.

“Resulting from the close contact screening to the index case and his family members, an additional 59 cases were detected.

“As of 12pm today, a total of 337 individuals have been screened where 60 cases were positive for Covid-19 including the index case, 40 were negative and another 237 samples are waiting for laboratory test results.

“All of the cases have been admitted to Sarawak General Hospital and PKRC for isolation and further treatment,” he noted.

As a result of the cluster, SDMC has ordered an Enhanced Movement Control Order (EMCO) to be implemented on Kampung Emperoh Jambu, Padawan effective Feb 23 to March 8 to stop the chain of transmission to other communities. — DayakDaily