KUCHING: Sarawak has not seen any major spikes in COVID-19 cases after the Hari Raya celebration, therefore, people are urged to continue to adopt the various safety measures during the Hari Gawai celebration this week.
Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences public health expert Associate Professor Dr Helmy Hazmi said it was expected there would be an increase of COVID-19 cases after some major celebrations when people started to move around, return to their kampung or visit their loved ones.
“However, the surge during the Hari Raya last month was not as serious or massive as what we have experienced before, thus, I (personally) think that this has given us an optimistic indicator that we are able to prevent the spread as long as we continue to adhering to the standard operating procedures (SOP),” he told New Sarawak Tribune.
“We still need to continue wearing a mask, especially in a crowded area, to ensure the location of the celebration or an event has good ventilation while those feeling unwell should stay at home or refrain from meeting others,” he said.
Dr Helmy said self-testing remains highly encouraged, especially for major events, which are held in a confined and crowded environment.
He stressed that there were still some vulnerable groups in the society, especially the young children or elderly people with comorbidities, or those who have not been vaccinated against COVID-19 or receive their booster dose.
On the drop of self-test kit as (previously reported), he said, the positivity rate needs to be carefully interpreted.
“If we look at the recent data, the positivity rate is below five per cent, which gives an idea that the number of tests is adequate. But again, people are testing less now, so the positivity rate needs to be carefully interpreted,” he said.