Datuk Dr Jerip Susil

KUCHING: Transport Assistant Minister Datuk Dr Jerip Susil has been tested positive for Covid-19 while five other ministers were ordered to self-quarantine.

Dr Jerip was tested positive on Thursday and is now undergoing treatment at Sarawak General Hospital (SGH).

Datuk Seri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom

The ministers currently under home quarantine are Deputy Chief Ministers Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas and Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan, Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian, Utilities Minister Datuk Seri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom and Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Woman, Family and Childhood Development Minister Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah.

Also ordered to observe a two-week home quarantine until April 16 were International Trade and Industry, Industrial Terminal and Entrepreneur Development Assistant Minister Datuk Naroden Majais, Tasik Biru assemblyman Datuk Henry Harry Jinep and several senior government officials.

The Health Ministry, through the State Health Department, issued a two-week home surveillance order on all concerned after they were identified to have come in close contact with Dr Jerip during a State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) meeting on March 27.

Datuk Mohd Naroden Majais

They are among the 130 new cases of Persons Under Investigation (PUI) recorded by SDMC yesterday.

Dr Jerip is said to have contracted the virus from one of his staff members. However, he is asymptomatic.

It is learnt that currently all five ministers, an assistant minister and Henry are reported to be in good health and the self-quarantine is just a precaution, as they have been exposed to the risk of infection.

Staff of Henry’s service centre and Bau District Office who attended a SDMC meeting with Dr Jerip in Bau on March 30 has all been ordered to observe a two-week home quarantine. 

On a related development, Kota Samarahan MP Rabiah Wang has also been confirmed positive with Covid-19 and is currently undergoing treatment.

Dr Sim, in his Facebook post, said: “Though I am well, no cough, no short of breath, no fever and am not Covid-19 positive, it (my being under home quarantine) is part of the standard operating procedure (SOP) for being in close proximity with a Covid-19 positive case.

“All of us in the meeting will need to be in self-isolation at home just in case we become infected, but more importantly, to not infect others if you happen to be infected even though you are well and not showing symptoms.”

Uggah in his Facebook post said he attended a meeting with a Covid-19 positive patient on March 27 and that although he had not shown any symptoms of the virus, the self-quarantine was a precautionary measure.

He added that all members at the meeting had also been asked to self-isolate.