Sarawak prepares to tackle DEADLY DELTA

variants of concern

KUCHING: Authorities are now in the midst of preparing resources to cushion the impact of the recently detected Covid-19 Delta variant, says Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) advisor Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian.

“The first Covid-19 cases involving the Delta variant have landed in Sarawak. It’s inevitable as Sarawak, unfortunately, is not isolated from the rest of Malaysia. 

“With whatever policies and ‘inconvenient’ measures that we have to protect Sarawak, it gives us time to prepare our resources such as hospitals, intensive care unit (ICU) beds and vaccinations to give us a head start.

“We need the understanding and cooperation of every Sarawakian, both in Sarawak and outside, to protect our borders and people from emerging Covid-19 variants,” he said in a Facebook post on Thursday (July 8).

To date, Sarawak has detected variants such as Alpha (B1.1.7), Beta (B1.351), Eta (B.1.525) and Theta (P.3).

At the same time, the Sarawak Local Government and Housing Minister also thanked the Institute of Health and Community Medicine (IHCM), Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) director Prof Dr David Perera and his team for detecting the variant.

“Thanks for working with the Sarawak Covid-19 Vaccine Advisory Group (Scovag) and SDMC on genomics surveillance on the samples from various polymerase chain reaction (PCR) swabs that were positive throughout Sarawak.

“Many labs can do PCR tests but only a select few in Malaysia can do genomics tests as PCR tests are done daily but genomics tests are done on a scheduled date.”

Earlier Thursday, IHCM said the Delta variant was detected following a recent genome sequencing analysis.

“A 56-year-old man has been detected with the variant on June 18 and his case is classified as Import B case.”

IHCM said besides the Delta variant, positive cases involving the Beta and Theta variants had also been detected in Sarawak before this.

Fifty-nine cases involving Variants of Concern (VOC) and Variants of Interest (VOI) had been detected in positive cases up to June 26.