KUCHING: Assistant Local Government and Housing Minister Dr Annuar Rapaee has clarified that most of the 171 Covid-19 cases reported in Sibu on Monday are concentrated in two areas only, namely the Sibu Jaya flats and a nursing home for the elderly.
Despite the alarming spike, he pointed out that other zones in Sibu had not shown an increase and thus it was not necessary to impose the enhanced movement control order (EMCO) in all these other zones.
“Of the 171 cases reported in Sibu today, 97 were from active case detection (ACD) carried out at the Sibu Jaya flats – which are now under the EMCO,” he said in a Facebook Live session on Monday evening, adding that these 97 cases resulted from the 1,300 swab samples obtained last Saturday.
“Meanwhile, the 12 positive cases from the Wisma Li Hua quarantine centre were close contacts of residents at the Sibu Jaya flats,” he pointed out.
Apart from these Sibu Jaya linked cases, he said a nursing home for the elderly had recorded a high number of cases with 38. He added that another nursing home for the elderly had recorded eight cases.
On the rest of the cases, the Nangka assemblyman said two were detected at the longhouse Rumah Saing, eight at Sibu Hospital, two at Poliklinik Lanang, and four at private health facilities.
Dr Annuar explained that Sibu had been divided into over 34 zones to facilitate the monitoring of cases in each area.
“This zoning is important so that if a zone has a high number of cases such as the Sibu Jaya flats, we can impose a total lockdown in that area and it will not bother other areas in Sibu. We can be more focused in ensuring that ACD is carried out in that area.”
On the EMCO enforced at the Town Villa housing and flats area in Sibu Jaya, he said a first round of swab tests needed to be conducted in the area which comprised some 7,000 residents.
“I can say that cases reported in this area will be high within these two to three days.”
At the same time, he could not say if the EMCO would be extended as this would depend on the number of cases.
“After the first round of swab tests, we will conduct a second round. If this second round does not result in more positive cases, we will be able to relax the EMCO in the area.
“But if there are still positive cases, we cannot relax it and we have to carry out a third round. So I urge residents of the Sibu Jaya flats not to leave their homes because if they infect their neighbours, the cases will continue for a longer time.”
He said the police would monitor and take action against those found leaving their homes even if they were roaming within the flat’s compound, as this was not allowed during the EMCO.
He also said the Social Welfare Department would send food supplies to those affected over two days starting today.