Uggah speaking during the press conference. (Photo: UKAS)

KUCHING: Sarawak recorded nine new positive Covid-19 cases on Friday (July 24), bringing the total number of positive cases in the state thus far to 641.

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas said that of the nine cases, six were from Kuching and three were from Samarahan.

“There is one case involving a female student who just returned from Perth, Australia on July 20 via Kuala Lumpur (KL) to Kuching. The case had been in Australia since February.

“Upon arrival in KL, an RTK Antigen test was not carried out as she had undergone a Covid-19 screening in Perth on July 17 and her rT-PCR (reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction) test result was negative,” he said at the Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) Covid-19 daily update press conference on Friday (July 24).

He said that the case been brought directly to the hotel quarantine centre upon arrival in Kuching and she had undergone a Covid-19 screening on July 21. Her rT-PCR test result was positive on July 23.

Meanwhile, he said that the other eight cases reported had been detected from contact tracing efforts and active screening of contacts from the Sentosa Cluster.

“All of them were healthcare workers at the facility and were screened on July 22. They consisted of five men and three women between the ages of 30 and 48,” said Uggah, who is also SDMC chairman.

According to him, all nine cases reported on Friday did not show any symptoms.

He disclosed that thus far with regard to the Sentosa Cluster, 643 individuals had been screened and swabbed for rT-PCR testing.

“From this total screened, 16 individuals or 2.49 percent have been found to be Covid-19 positive. All cases have been admitted at Sarawak General Hospital (SGH) for treatment while all contacts have been instructed to undergo a 14-day quarantine,” he said.

He said that for contacts involving healthcare workers, they would be screened again on Day 3 and Day 13 before being issued a release order and allowed back to their duties, whereas contacts who were not healthcare workers would be screened again on Day 13 before being issued a release order if their results were negative.

He said that with the eight new cases added to the Sentosa Cluster, the total was brought to 16 cases in this cluster while no additional cases were reported for the other seven active clusters.

Uggah said that no new cases had recovered and discharged from hospitals on Friday, with the total number of recovered and discharged cases remaining at 556, or 86.74 per cent.

“A total of 67 individuals are still receiving treatment at hospital isolation wards and the total number of deaths remains at 18, or 2.81 per cent,” he stated.

He said that 18 new person-under-investigation (PUI) cases had been reported while five were still awaiting laboratory results.

He reported that 42 persons-under-surveillance (PUS) had been checked into hotels on Friday to undergo quarantine, bringing the total number of PUS at ten hotels to 541, while 19,071 PUS had completed their quarantine period.

He said that the Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM) had issued 33 compound notices for non-compliance with the standard operating procedure – 17 in Miri, Kuching (six), Lawas (six), Sarikei (two), Samarahan (one), and Padawan (one).

On Op Benteng, he said that there were six roadblocks in five districts on Friday, namely two in Lundu and one each in Bau, Serian, Sri Aman, and Lubok Antu. “From these six roadblocks, a total of 752 vehicles were checked.”