KUCHING: Sarawak saw a state record high of 55 new positive cases today (Jan 9) – 37 in Sibu, 15 in Kuching, two in Miri, and one in Bintulu.

In a statement on Saturday, the Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) said this brought the total number of positive cases in the state thus far to 1,251.

Of the 15 cases recorded in Kuching, 11 were categorised as local transmissions while four were Import-B cases, which are cases infected while at high-risk Covid-19 infection areas.

Seven of the 11 local transmission cases – Cases 1,203; 1,204; 1,205; 1,208; 1,210; 1,211; and 1,212 – underwent self-screening and had a history of visiting or working at locations announced by SDMC as high-risk Covid-19 infection areas.

“The seven comprise two men and five women in the age range of 22 to 54 years. The cases underwent Covid-19 screening on Jan 8 and the test results on Jan 8 and 9 were positive,” they said.

These cases were categorised as being infected while visiting premises at the same time as cases in association with the Stutong Cluster.

Another local transmission case, Case 1,198, was a local man who underwent screening at a private hospital as he was a contact of Case 1,179 of the Keranji Tabuan Cluster.

Meanwhile, Case 1,206 was a local woman who underwent self-screening at a private health facility in Kuching on Jan 8 as she was experiencing fever and headache over the past six days, with the results returning positive on the same day.

Cases 1,207 and 1,209 were two local family members who screened for Covid-19 as they had signs and symptoms.

“Both these cases received treatment at a private health facility in Kuching and underwent screening on Jan 8, with the results returning positive on Jan 9,” said SDMC.

Case 1,207 experienced body aches in the head and chest while Case 1,209 experienced a runny nose and a loss of smell.

The sources of infection for Cases 1,206; 1,207; and 1,209 are being investigated and contact tracing is being conducted by the Kuching Division Health Office.

On the imported cases, SDMC said Cases 1,199 and 1,200 were local sisters who had just returned from Kunak, Sabah on Dec 31 via a flight from Kota Kinabalu to Kuching.

Both cases underwent the mandatory ten-day quarantine at a quarantine centre in Kuching. Their Covid-19 screening on Jan 7 found both of them to be positive.

“Cases 1,201 and 1,202 are two local brothers who just returned from Pulau Pinang on Jan 7. They arrived at the Kuching International Airport, underwent screening, and were directed to undergo quarantine at the quarantine centre,” said SDMC.

The test results of both cases on Jan 7 returned positive.

The 37 local transmission cases recorded in Sibu, Cases 1,215 until 1,251, involved locals screened through active case detection (ACD) at a longhouse in Pasai. The ACD was conducted after a positive case, Case 1,175, who was directed to quarantine at home was found positive on Jan 7.

The cases consist entirely of local residents aged 11 months until 79 years – whereby five are children under the age of 12. They were screened on Jan 7 and found positive the next day.

Early investigations found that all these cases did not exhibit any serious symptoms, though some had experienced fever and cough. All these cases have been admitted into Sibu Hospital for further treatment.

The cases are categorised as local transmissions likely to have been infected from the index case of Case 1,175.

Spread control and prevention efforts as well as contact tracing for these cases including individuals who have visited the area are being conducted by the Sibu Division Health Office with the assistance of agencies under the Sibu Division Disaster Management Committee (JPBB). 

As for the two cases in Miri, one was a local infection and the other was categorised as Import-B.

The committee said the local infection case, Case 1,214, was a local man detected through contact tracing as he had contact with Cases 1,155; 1,156; 1,157; and 1,165.

“The case underwent screening on Jan 7 and was found positive on Jan 8. He experienced cough since Jan 5,” they said, adding that further investigation and contact tracing were being actively conducted by Miri Division Health Office.

The imported case in Miri, Case 1,213, was an Indonesian man who underwent screening for the purpose of signing off from a ship anchored outside the waters of Miri.

The case was screened on Jan 7 by health officers from a private hospital in Miri while he was still on the ship as it was awaiting permission to anchor in the waters of Miri Port. The results returned positive on the same day.

Early investigations showed that the ship had stopped by at Labuan Port and all the crew members were allowed to sign off and on there before heading to Miri.

“The case is categorised as Import-B, that is, likely to have been infected when the crew stopped by and signed off at Labuan Port,” said SDMC.

They said further investigation was still underway and the crew would be brought down for treatment and examination after getting approval to dock at the port.

The single case in Bintulu, Case 1,197, was an Indonesian man who had come to Sarawak to work at a shipping company in Miri.

He arrived in Kuala Lumpur on Dec 23 and underwent quarantine at a centre in Cheras until Dec 29. He tested negative for samples taken on Dec 26 and 29.

The case self-quarantined at the hotel in Selangor before arriving at Bintulu Airport on Dec 31 and undergoing screening upon arrival.

The case was directed to undergo quarantine for ten days at a quarantine centre and the remaining four days at home. The test he took on Dec 31 was found negative on Jan 1.

However, the result from his third screening on Jan 7 was positive on Jan 8. The case is still undergoing contact tracing and is categorised as Import-A, having been infected at his country of origin.