Sarawak to enter vaccination stage

KUCHING: Sarawak will soon enter the vaccination stage for its management of the Covid-19 outbreak, said Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) advisor Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian.

He said it is part of the state’s strategy — moving on from the current containment stage without needing to go into the mitigation stage which Malaya and Sabah are currently in.

“Sarawak is the only state still in the containment stage. What is most important is for us to find as many mildly symptomatic or asymptomatic Covid-19 cases in the local community as possible to cut its transmission.

“In West Malaysia, they are now in the mitigation stage, hence the recent change of policy in reducing PCR testing. While it will lead to a drop in the number of daily cases, unfortunately it may not decrease local transmissions,” he said in a Facebook post on Saturday.

On the 152 cases recorded Saturday, Dr Sim said while returning to daily triple digits is akin to moving two steps forward and one step back, the focus should not be solely on the number of cases.

“Thanks to those in Sibu, Kuching, Bintulu, Kapit, Samarahan, and Bau who came forward to be tested. Your actions will protect your family, colleagues, friends, and Sarawak.

“All the klinik kesihatan (health clinics) in Kuching are open during public holidays for Covid-19 assessment and PCR testing,” he said.

While he expressed relief with the Daro district turning into a green zone, attention needs to be given on the cases recorded in Subis and Julau as it may be the next Covid-19 epicentre in Sarawak.

“I was told that the cases in the Subis district involved a Pan Borneo construction site with Indonesian workers. We need genetic studies to determine its correlation with epidemiological investigation. 

“In the Julau district, it involved a few longhouses in close proximity with one another. Lessons learnt from the (previous) lockdown of longhouses in Sibu and Beluru must be immediately applied by all agencies,” he said.