covid watch

KUCHING: The last Covid-19 cluster in Sarawak known as the Alam Cluster that was reported in Bintulu district has been finally declared over on Saturday (Sept 26).

Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) in a statement said the cluster involved a liquefied natural gas (LNG) ship carrier anchored at the port of Bintulu was declared to have ended after no new cases were reported within 28 days from the date the last case was detected.

The cluster was detected on Aug 20, 2020 when four crew members of the ship were infected by the virus.

The first screening of all 27 crew on Aug 21, 2020 found an additional three more that tested positive, while the second screening test on the 10th day detected another Covid-19 positive case among the ship’s crew on Aug 29, 2020. This brings the total number of positive cases to eight people.

They said the total number of individuals who have been screened was 33 people, which consists of 27 crew members, three ship agents, a pilot from Sabah, two health workers from Labuan and survey contact from Sabah. This makes the positive cumulative rate was at 24.24 percent.

SDMC said clinically, four cases have shown signs and symptoms of Covid-19 infection and another four are asymptomatic. All cases that have been found positive have undergone treatment at Bintulu Hospital while the other crew members were given a 14-day quarantine order on board.

No deaths were reported from this cluster. Disinfection and sanitisation works on board had also been carried out.

They said this cluster was an isolated incident and was limited to the crew member with minimal external contact.

SDMC said the cause of the infection had also been identified as an infection imported from abroad when the ship made a stopover before anchoring in the waters of Bintulu.

Meanwhile, state Health Department also conveyed their appreciation on the cooperation from all government agencies, departments and the private sectors as well as individuals under the leadership of the Sarawak State Disaster Management Committee in managing and controlling the Alam Cluster in Bintulu.