KUCHING: Sarawak recorded one death and 21 new positive cases for Covid-19 yesterday.

Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian said that the latest victim was a 40-year-old lecturer from Kota Samarahan who passed away at the Sarawak General Hospital (SGH).

On the two deaths on Monday of a 47-year-old male in Kuching and a 41-year-old female in Miri, the actual clusters were still being investigated, he said.

“What we know is that the male victim went to a course at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) while the female victim had never been outside Sarawak.

“As a result, we have now a few new clusters besides the five that the Health Department has already established.

“We have a few more that we are trying to figure out. We have recorded a case each from Scotland, London and Netherland,” he stated at a press conference yesterday at Wisma Bapa Malaysia.

With the latest death, the death toll in Sarawak has risen to 8 cases since the first death was reported on Mar 17.

As of yesterday, of the 21 new positive cases recorded, 20 were at SGH and one at the Sibu Hospital, thus bringing the total number of positive cases to 135.

“This is the highest number of positive cases recorded in Sarawak since the outbreak started. One of the reasons is due to us encouraging those who are in contact with Covid-19 patients to come forward and be screened.

“Most of these (positive) cases are a result of the Covid-19 screening at the Youth and Sports Complex, which is a joint effort by Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) and SGH.

“We have now increased our capacity to do the Polymerase Chain Reaction or (PCR) testing. Yesterday, Sibu Hospital started to do its PCR testing,” he said.

Dr Sim added that the state had recorded 46 new Person Under Investigation (PUI) cases.

Since Monday, 93 patients are still in various hospitals in Sarawak. Of the nine patients who are in the Intensive Care Units (ICU), eight are in SGH and one in Sibu Hospital.

To date, 14 patients have been discharged — nine from SGH, four from Sibu Hospital and one from Miri Hospital.

Dr Sim revealed that the police had arrested a total of 276 people who had violated the MCO statewide from Mar 18 to 31.

“On Monday, 46 people were arrested. A group of 83 had been charged in court and 63 had pleaded guilty for defying the order.

“Apart from that, 54 of them had been given jail terms of between one and four months and 12 fined between RM1,000 and RM2,000. Another 17 had pleaded not guilty to the offence,” he said.