State Health Dept tracing contacts of Covid-19 patient who visited Kuching

Dr Sim fielding questions from the media.

By Karen Bong

KUCHING, March 4: Minister of Local Government and Housing Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian confirmed that a Covid-19 patient was in Kuching to attend a meeting on Feb 16 and 17 but was unclear of his actual schedule.

The Sarawak Health Department, he emphasised, is carrying out contact tracing for the man who is also known as Case 33 in order to identify individuals who had close contact with the confirmed case of Covid-19.

“We don’t take things for granted even though it has been more than 14 days. We maintain a high degree of vigilance as contact tracing is being conducted and necessary measures will be taken according to standard operation procedures.

“Most importantly, we don’t want the public to panic and secondly, don’t listen and spread unverified information and unfounded rumours,” he told reporters today.

Dr Sim was met after officiating at the handing-over ceremony of 26 customised double cabin pick-ups to local authorities to strengthen rabies control efforts in Sarawak, at Kuching South City Council (MBKS) headquarters here.

The public may contact the Covid-19 hotline at 082-443248 under the Sarawak Health Department’s Crisis Preparedness and Response Centre.

“Sarawak is still free from Covid-19 given that it (the situation) is rapidly evolving. We hope with the cooperation of all Sarawakians, we can prevent the virus from coming here as long as possible,” Dr Sim added.

Giving assurance to the public, he emphasised that the State Disaster Management Committee chaired by Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas had made all necessary preparations since Jan 27, following the outbreak of the Covid-19 that originated in Wuhan, China.

“We will continue to fine tune the measures according to the development of the situation. All these are to give a head start in the event a Covid-19 case is identified in Sarawak,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health in a statement yesterday (March 3) disclosed that the 58-year-old man who had travelled to Kuching for a meeting tested positive for Covid-19 on March 2.

He had close contact with Case 26, a 52-year-old man who had travelled to Shanghai, China in mid-January.

Case 33 is currently warded at Sungai Buloh Hospital in Selangor and is reported to be in stable condition.

Case 26 was reported to be a senior official of Khazanah Nasional Berhad and UDA Holdings Berhad. He was reportedly in close contact with a former minister and deputy minister, who had both tested negative for the virus. — DayakDaily