KUCHING: Members of the public are advised to be careful as the number of Covid-19 cases in the state has gone above the 1,000-mark since August 18.
State Health Department director Datuk Dr Mohamed Sapian Mohamed in a statement on Sunday (August 29) pointed out that this month alone, there had been 35,517 new cases, an increase of around 224 percent compared to the figure for the same period last month.
“As reported by the Institute of Health and Community Medicine, of Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas), on August 28, 2021, a total of 178 new Delta variant cases have been detected, with the highest detection rate of 83 percent,” said Dr Mohamed Sapian.
He added that, so far, the variant had been detected in 10 districts with the rate of detection for the variant as high as 99 percent in the Kuching division.
“The presence of the Delta variant has high infectiousness level which is five to eight times higher compared to other variants.
“This makes it a major factor in the high Covid-19 cases in Sarawak, especially in the southern zone.
“In addition, this variant has the potential to spread fast especially if individuals do not wear a face mask, do not practice social distancing and observe personal hygiene,” he explained.
Dr Mohamed Sapian said that state-wide vaccinations had helped to lower the infection. However, there were still cases of people being infected, especially those who were not yet eligible for vaccination.
“The progress of the immunisation programme in the state have reached 90.9 percent of the population for the first dose and 87.9 percent for the second dose on August 28.
“Even though it helps lower the infection rate, bear in mind that at least 30 percent from the daily cases are those under the age of 18, who are not eligible to receive the vaccine,” said the department’s director.
From the number of new cases on August 22, Dr Moahmed Sapian said 99 percent of the cases were category one (no symptoms) and category two (mild symptoms) when tested positive.
He added that the rate of bed usage for critical care cases state-wide showed an increase in August but still at a level which the hospitals could manage.
Therefore, around 45 Covid-19 quarantine and low-risk treatment centres (PKRCs) have opened across the state; 41 are public PKRCs (7,465 beds) while four are detainee PKRCs (1,072 beds).
“A total of 781 health workers have been mobilised to all PKRCs. However, any increase in new Covid-19 cases will require more officers to be at the centres,” said Dr Mohamed Sapian.