Wuhan virus: State govt to buy Rapid Blood Test kit, thermal scanners for Bintulu and Sibu

File photo of Uggah (centre) speaking to reporters after chairing the state disaster management committee meeting. Also seen are Minister of Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah and State Secretary Datuk Amar Jaul Samion.

By Nancy Nais

KUCHING, Jan 29: The Sarawak government has decided to purchase a Rapid Blood Test kit as soon as possible, as the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak is spreading rapidly.

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas said the state government will also purchase two thermal scanners for Bintulu and Sibu because they do not have such machines to screen arrivals.

The kit is expected to arrive in a week, while the machines may take about two weeks to get here.

Speaking to reporters after chairing a State Disaster Management Committee (JPBN) meeting this morning, Uggah said currently all samples taken from suspected cases had to be sent to Kuala Lumpur.

“The samples sent to Kuala Lumpur will take about 36 to 48 hours (to proces) before we get the results. With our own Rapid Blood Test kit, we will know the results faster. We will also discuss with Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) as soon as possible with regards to using their facilities,” he said.

As for the airport thermal scanners, Uggah said: “The machines will be delivered to Sibu and Bintulu as soon as possible. At least, all of our airports in Sarawak will have it to monitor all incoming passengers via air.”

He also gave assurance that every entry point encompassing air, sea and road into Sarawak will be closely monitored by the relevant authorities.

Sarawak has recorded eight suspected cases so far — five in Kuching, and one each in Sibu, Bintulu and Miri. — DayakDaily