New case a brief setback

Dr Sim Kui Hian

KUCHING: With only five more days from declaring Sarawak free from Covid-19, the single reported local Covid-19 transmission recently has thrown a spanner in the works.

Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian described the case reported on Friday (Aug 21) as a “temporary setback”; however, he added that Sarawak would continue its efforts to fully eliminate the virus from the state.

“Although Sarawak is so close, with five more days to declaring that we no longer have active Covid-19 local transmission, if there is a case, our public safety will come first.

“It is a temporary setback, making Sarawak turn from green to yellow zone, but we shall try again,” he said in a Facebook post on Saturday (Aug 22).

The authorities will continue to perform its standard operating procedures (SOPs) to contain the spread of the newly reported Covid-19 transmission, Dr Sim said.

“We will perform active and aggressive contact tracing, not just on whoever has been exposed but also finding from whom he got it (the Covid-19) from, namely the original source.
“Secondly is testing, although it costs the government around RM200 per PCR swab, the lives of Sarawakians are more important than just money. Thirdly is treatment and quarantine,” he said.

With the new Covid-19 case, it illustrates that the same virus which was first detected in March still exists within the community, Dr Sim said.

“It is as infectious as before and the current mutated version of it is more infectious than previously. We must remain vigilant, continue our spirit of Sarawak solidarity and practise the new norms,” he said.