Dept constantly monitoring situation

Datuk Dr Mohamed Sapian Mohamed

KUCHING: The State Health Department is continuously monitoring the Covid-19 situation in Sarawak including carrying out improvement measures according to the current situation.

Its director Datuk Dr Mohamed Sapian Mohamed said that the usage of Antigen Rapid Test Kit (RTK) will be used widely throughout the state to identify positive cases at a fast rate in order for action to be taken quickly.

“Mitigation strategy plans are being drafted and detailed strategies will be announced in the near future after discussions with the State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) and the Ministry of Health (MOH),” he said in a statement yesterday (Sept 12).

Sarawak recorded the highest number of Covid-19 cases at 5,291 yesterday (Sept 12). This is the eight day in a row that the number of daily cases exceeded 3,000 since Sept 5.

Of the 5,291 cases detected, 99.9 percent of the cases were in Category 1 (no symptoms) and Category 2 (having mild symptoms).

Dr Mohamed Sapian said the total 5,291 new cases were from 28,065 samples tested.

“From the total, the positive rate is 18.8 percent. This rate increased from an average of 14.5 percent and indicates that the spread has occurred widely in the community,” he said.

He also mentioned that the increase in daily cases has led to an increase in active contact tracing activities in all parts of Sarawak especially in localities with active clusters.

“The high number of samples has burdened the capacity of the existing laboratory and thus the time required to obtain test results (turn-around-time) has been extended and even outsourcing has been implemented.

“This has caused many samples to be delayed up to five days. Although there was a time lag in obtaining the results, all at-risk contacts were given home surveillance order (HSO) to prevent the spread in the community,” he said.

On that note, Dr Mohamed urged the public to continue to adhere to the standard operating procedures (SOPs) such as wearing face masks and observing physical distancing at all times.

“Together, let’s break the chain of infection of Covid-19,” he said.