KUCHING: Sarawak Patriots Association (SPA) has urged authorities to check homes of Covid-19 cases under Category 1 and Category 2 before imposing home quarantine, as not all homes are suitable for quarantine procedures.
SPA chairman Datuk Dr Lau Pang Heng said the availability of a separate room with separate washroom, good ventilation, and the number of persons in the house are all factors that need to be considered.
“If the home is located in a high-density neighbourhood, the risk level of the infection spreading due to home quarantine will also be elevated.
“The vaccination status of those living in the same home should also be a key consideration,” he said.
Last Wednesday, there were 1,391 people infected with Covid-19 under Category 1 (without symptoms) and 273 people were under Category 2 (with mild symptoms).
Under these two categories, the authorities had decided that the cases might be quarantined at their own home.
In a survey conducted by Dr Lau, he found that 95 percent of the people interviewed at Kota Sentosa area had expressed deep concern for home quarantine.
“They are concerned that an infected person, while being quarantine at home, may put other family members at risk of viral infections particularly those whose homes do not have more than one bathroom and toilet.
“The infected person could be using the same facilities as the other family members like bathroom, water taps, doorknobs, utensils, dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, and towels.
“When this happens, he or she may infect other family members. This is because there is no Ministry of Health (MoH) personnel present at every house to make sure that they follow the strict guidelines of home quarantine,” explained Dr Lau.
Apart from that, he also said the new Covid-19 was mutated and could infect neighbours through the air, and for houses located in congested housing areas, the virus might transmit to others through the air.
“Therefore, it is not recommended to have home quarantine as the whole neighbourhood may be in danger of Covid-19,” he noted.
However, at the same time, Dr Lau recommends that patients in home quarantine should be monitored regularly for aggravation of the virus, which guarantees an early detection of potential aggravation for fast intervention.
“Discharge should be based on clinical and laboratory findings, authorities should insist on two connectivity negative throat swabs prior to removing quarantine.
“Even after the end of quarantine, patients should be monitored for recurrence of coronavirus or long-term sequelae,” he said.
He urged the authority to study the reasons for the increasing Covid-19 outbreak in the second half of 2021 so that we they address the root causes to reduce the number of infections.
He also urged the authority to take both corrective and preventive measures in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic in the state.