One new import case, S’wak still green

Uggah flanked by Dr Sim (left) and Dr Chin.

KUCHING: Sarawak recorded one new positive Covid-19 case on Friday, breaking the four-day zero streak, as well as bringing the total number of positive cases in the state to 682.

Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) chairman Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas said Case 682 is an import case involving a local man from Mukah and is a student at Rubat Fatah Seon College & University, Yemen.

“The travel history of the case shows that the case has boarded a flight from Yemen to Cairo, Egypt on Aug 1. From Cairo, Egypt, the case boarded a flight to enter Malaysia via Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) on the same day.

“The case stopped by at KLIA airport and returned to Sarawak on Aug 3 by flight to Sibu. Upon arrival at Sibu Airport, the case was immediately taken to the hotel quarantine centre in Sibu for a 14-day mandatory quarantine.

“The case did not show any symptoms,” he said at a press conference here  yesterday.

Uggah further said that the case was screened using RTK Antigen on Aug 2 in Kuala Lumpur but the result came back negative.

During his stay at the hotel quarantine centre, the case had his sample taken for the first rT-PCR screening test on Aug 5 and laboratory test results on the next day also came back negative.

“However, on Aug 12, the case underwent a second rT-PCR test screening on the 10th day and a laboratory test by Sibu Hospital Laboratory on Aug 13 found that the case was positive.

“The case was admitted to the Sibu Hospital on Aug 13 for further treatment. Contact tracing and further investigations are still underway and this case is categorised as an import case from abroad,” he elaborated.

The case was the third import case detected involving citizens returning to Sarawak from Yemen.

Uggah also said there were no new recovery cases, bringing the total number of Covid-19 cases which have recovered and discharged from hospital to remain at 659, or 96.63 percent.

“At present, there are four cases undergoing treatment at isolation wards in hospitals. The total Covid-19 deaths in Sarawak remains at 19 or 2.79 percent,” he said.

Apart from that, 20 new person-under-investigation (PUI) cases were reported while two cases were awaiting lab resultr.

Uggah mentioned that although Sarawak recorded one case, that does not change its green status to yellow due to the case being an import case.

He also thanked the frontliners in the state for their contribution in battling the Covid-19 pandemic.

“They have managed to track down all the close contacts of the case indexes in the last two or three weeks. For information, they have managed to track 2,762 close contacts to 10 clusters that have been reported,” he continued.

In another development, Uggah said the state government has allocated RM1 million to the Sarawak Heart Centre for the purpose of improving its screening capacity.

“In the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, Sarawak’s screening capacity was limited toh only one centre in Kuching.

“At that time, most of the samples had to be sent to Kuala Lumpur and we have to wait four to five days for the lab results,” he said.

Following that, he said many parties came forward to donate, including Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg, with one PCR machine in Sibu while private companies have donated four PCR machines in Kuching (one), Miri (one) and Bintulu (two).

He also said the state government has donated one automated extraction machine in Miri while the private sector donated one machine in Bintulu. These donations eventually increased the state’s screening capacity.

Also present were Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian and State Health director Dr Chin Zin Hing.