Solidarity helps contain virus cases

Annuar Rapaee

KUCHING: The Sibu district could contain its Covid-19 cases because of solidarity from all parties, said Education, Science and Technological Research Assistant Minister Dr Annuar Rapaee.

“In spite of the poor show of support at the beginning, many parties came together when the numbers peaked.

“More hotels and private venues decided to take up the role of quarantine centres and Covid-19 Quarantine and Low-Risk Treatment Centres (PKRCs).

“I look at it as a tough but rewarding effort as the people from all political divides realised that there would be no other way to fight this battle than to stand together in solidarity,” he said in a Facebook post on Friday (July 16).

He was detailing the events of the Covid-19 fight in the district following a surge in cases due to the Pasai cluster earlier this year.

Dr Annuar said the show of solidarity proved that Sibu would always come together for an important cause — to protect themselves from Covid-19 and ensure a better future.

The Nangka assemblyman added that the Sibu Hospital at the height of the Pasai cluster of infections had to increase its swab test capacity as it also received samples from Kapit, Kanowit, Sarikei and other parts of the central zone.

“We managed to get a private lab to assist. This proved to be very helpful as the turnaround time to produce the results was optimally between 36 and 48 hours.

“With the additional help, we managed to keep the turnaround time within 48 hours. The faster we detected cases, the more effective our efforts in curbing the spread.

“If we had allowed delays, the virus would have spread to families, workplaces and communities even faster,” he said.

Dr Annuar said it was hard work to establish drive-through swab facilities, mass screening in villages and going village to village to get people to come forward to be screened.

“At that time, we were recording between 100 and 200 positive cases daily. This led to the need for more PKRCs,” he said.