Dr Chin Zin Hing

KUCHING: The State Health Department has assured that a person who came into contact with a Covid-19 positive patient would not be considered a case until further investigations have been done.

Its director Dr Chin Zin Hing said this in response to Pending assemblywoman Violet Yong Wui Wui’s questions on her Facebook post.

On July 31, Yong posted on social media that the number of the reported confirmed Covid-19 cases in Sarawak should reflect its true situation.

Yong’s inquiries on her Facebook post on July 31, requesting answers from SDMC or the Health Ministry.

“My friend’s nephew was admitted to hospital three nights ago (July 28) for quarantine due to Covid 19. All family members who have close contact with this nephew have undergone Covid-19 test at the designated clinic and now serving home quarantine.

“The question is why until to date, my friend’s nephew case is not reflected in the daily official report by Health Ministry or SDMC? Is this particular case categorised under a different group,” she asked, hoping that the ministry and the committee could provide an answer.

In his reply, Dr Chin said the department was aware of complaints that there were individuals who had been referred and hospitalised as well as associated with a Covid-19 positive case but, they were not considered as a case in the daily report by Sarawak Disaster Management Committee.

“For information, it is one of the precautions that have been taken by the health department to conduct further investigations on any cases that are still suspected and for screening tests to be carried out.

“The purpose of re-screening is to ensure that such persons are completely free from the virus’ infection,” he said.

He explained that the reason why they were being referred and admitted to the hospital ward, was to ensure that they would not spread the infection to others especially to their own family members, in the event they were confirmed positive Covid-19.

Dr Chin added that such persons would be isolated and not placed together with other cases that were Covid-19 positive, in order to prevent infection in the hospital.

On the high number of Covid-19 cases on July 28 and no cases on July 29 as reported by SDMC, he said that it was due to the active screening activities carried out involving active clusters on July 26 and 27.

“On these dates, the health department through the Kuching division health office was actively carrying out the screening activities in Kuching.

“As a result of these activities, many of the public identified, had undergone Covid-19 swab tests and some of were tested positive,” he explained.