25 percent of new daily cases involve individuals under 18 years

Datuk Dr Mohamed Sapian Mohamed

KUCHING: Sarawak’s immunisation coverage has reached 87.3 percent for the first vaccine dose and 69.2 percent for the second dose among all eligible adults.

State Health Department director Datuk Dr Mohamed Sapian Mohamed, who revealed this, urged those who had not yet received the first dose of vaccine or vaccination appointment to immediately contact the local Resident’s Office, District Office or the nearest Vaccination Centre or Health Clinic.

“An average of 25 percent of the new daily cases reported in July involved individuals under the age of 18.

“This group, which is not yet eligible to receive Covid-19 immunisation based on the current policy of the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme, is at high risk of exposure to infection and complications of Covid-19 disease.

“In fact, a high rate of immunisation coverage is essential to protect those who are not eligible for Covid-19 immunisation,” he said in a statement on Tuesday (Aug 3).

Dr Mohamed Sapian revealed that the state’s Covid-19 positive rate had decreased by 0.76 percent in July with a 5.21 percent positive rate out of 228,084 samples taken compared to 5.97 percent in June.

He reminded that although the positive rate was decreasing, a high number of cases were still detected, especially in the Kuching, Samarahan and Serian divisions.

“This came following active case detection activities through contact screening to positive cases and targeted screening in enhanced movement control order (EMCO) localities.

“This indicates that there is still transmission of the infection among the community. Therefore, prevention, control and screening activities will continue to be intensified,” he explained.

On Sarawak’s transition to Phase 3 of the National Recovery Plan from August 4, Dr Mohamed Sapian reminded the public to continue to adhere to the recommendations and health advice that were often emphasised as the increase in cases in Kuching, Samarahan and Serian divisions was still related to the Delta variant.

These include:

i. Stay at home if there are no important matters. Do not visit family members, neighbours or friends without any immediate purpose.

ii. For residents or visitors in longhouses, avoid gathering and make sure that face masks are always worn when in the ‘ruai’ area.

iii. Despite being permitted for inter-district travel, the people are advised not to return to the villages or longhouses for the time being as they may be carriers of the Covid-19 virus and will infect others, especially the elderly who lack immunity and those with comorbidities. Many incidents like this have been reported resulting in deaths among family members. Love your family.

iv. Avoid bringing children or people who have not been vaccinated to crowded and public places.

v. Parents are advised to ensure that children and adolescents under the age of 18 do not engage in gathering activities even with close friends or neighbours.

vi. For those who work, whether in the office or in the field:

a. Be sure to always wear a face mask at all times and practise physical distancing with everyone including co-workers.

b. Avoid eating in the pantry space. Physical distancing should also be practised during breaks or prayers.

c. If you are feeling unhealthy, do not go to work. Employers should be responsible for ensuring that only healthy employees are allowed to work and unhealthy employees should be screened for Covid-19.