Sudden surge of Covid-19 cases in Sibu district attributed to recent Raya, Gawai festivals

The mobile vaccination team at Bawang Assan Hall, Sibu.

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SIBU, June 12: The sudden surge of Covid-19 cases in Sibu district like most places statewide has been attributed to the recent festivals.

On June 10, the number of cases was 55. This went up to 79 yesterday but further surged to 149 today.

Sibu Division Disaster Management Committee coordinator Dr Annuar Rapaee, in his Facebook Live today, said this increase in cases happened 10 to 14 days after the Gawai festival.

“The spike in cases happened 10 to 14 days after Gawai. This is similar after the Raya. The cases here have been not stable as they go up and down. If there are between 60 to 70 cases, it is less worrying as compared to the 149 cases today,” he said.

He said cases increase during festivals when there were social gatherings of people.

The Nangka assemblyman pointed out that 12 longhouses in the district had contributed 50 of the 149 cases today.

“I request those who are still celebrating the Gawai to keep to the SOP (standard operating procedures) as cases will happen 10 to 14 days into the Gawai,” he said.

“We have many festivals, so it is difficult to bring down the cases. But with the rollout of the vaccine and enforcement of Movement Control Order and strict compliance to  the SOP, it is expected that the cases will decrease as other countries have experienced it,” he added.

Dr Annuar said the Health Department mobile vaccination team would now be actively doing its outreach programme to longhouses.

He assured that residents in longhouses with positive cases would be given top priority to be inoculated.

“Tuai Rumah will have to see to it that during the department’s outreach programme, their residents would accept the vaccine so as to curb the spread of Covid-19,” he urged.

He also anticipated that the target to vaccinate 70 per cent or 190,000 Sibu population is achievable by end of August.

“From now on, we will have a steady supply of vaccines. For June, the number of doses arriving per week is 33,474; July 40,000 doses per week and 55,000 doses a week in August,” he revealed.

Separately he said the constituencies of Bawang Assan (5,423 recipients), Nangka (9,000 recipients) and Pelawan (3,571 recipients) had completed distributing the food aid under BKSS 3.0.

As for Bukit Assek, he added, it has only achieved 78 per cent (5,000 recipients) and Dudong 92 per cent (9,487 recipients). — DayakDaily