KUCHING: The Sarawak Health Department has denied a posting circulating on social media that the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) is here in the state.

The allegation that went viral on a messaging app posted by an individual, claimed that there had been two positive cases, and that three were under close surveillance.

Department director Dr Chin Zin Hing said there was no positive case of the Covid-19 infection in Sarawak to date, and stressed that the posting was fake.

“As of noon, Feb 12, the State Health Department received 76 PUI (Person Under Investigation) reports for Covid-19.

A screenshot of the viral posting that circulated on social media claiming that Sarawak has two positive cases of Covid-19.

“Of this figure, no positive case was reported. 59 cases were negative and 17 cases are still pending laboratory results,” he said in a statement.

He urged the public to always refer to statements issued by the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Health or Health Department

director-general to find out the current situation in the country.

“People are also advised not to spread false news,” he added.

Dr Chin also reminded that spreading fake news is an offence under Section 233 of the Communication and Multimedia Act 1998.

If convicted, a fine of up to RM50,000 or imprisonment not exceeding one year will be meted out and a further fine of RM1,000 for each day of the continuance of that offence after the offender had been convicted by the court.