Covid-19 reaches Sarawak, all three cases linked to Sri Petaling event

State Disaster Management Committee Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah said so far, the Sarawak Health Department had tracked 236 participants and will continue to track the remaining cases. — Reuters pic
State Disaster Management Committee Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah said so far, the Sarawak Health Department had tracked 236 participants and will continue to track the remaining cases. — Reuters pic

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KUCHING, March 13 — Sarawak has recorded its first coronavirus disease (Covid-19) infections with three confirmed cases, chairman of the State Disaster Management Committee Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah announced today.

He said two were from the cluster attending the “Ijtimak” (religious gathering) held at the Sri Petaling Mosque in Selangor from February 28 to March 1 while the third is a family member to one of them.

“Therefore, we are appealing to all those attending that gathering and who are in Sarawak to immediately contact the nearest hospitals for Covid-19 investigation.

“So far, Sarawak Health Department had tracked 236 participants and will continue to track the remaining,” Uggah, who is also the Deputy Chief Minister, said.

Uggah said 63 of the 236 have been categorised as persons under investigation for Covid-19 while another 173 are placed under home surveillance.

He advised those who had attended the gathering in Sri Petaling to also abide by directive from the Majlis Islam Sarawak that was issued yesterday.

He said the management committee would like to assure the public that the Sarawak Health Department is prepared to face any eventuality arising from Covid-19 in its designated hospitals, namely Sarawak General Hospital, Sibu Hospital, Bintulu Hospital and Miri Hospital.

He added quarantine centres have been set up in Kuching, Sibu, Bintulu and Miri and are ready for operation.

Uggah said the management committee also issued guidelines following the three positive cases for Covid-19 recorded in the state.

“All government and public gathering involving more than 250 participants are to be postponed to a later date and that alll non-essential travel to Brunei, Sabah and Peninsular Malaysia are advised to be postponed or deferred.

“Visitors from Brunei, Sabah and Peninsular Malaysia are also advised to postpone or defer their travel to Sarawak,” he said.

He reminded that the state Health Department has advised the public to practice the highest personal hygienes standard by frequently washing their hand and using hand sanitzier, practice good cough and sneezing etiquette by covering mouth with hand or tissued and the usage of face mask.

“They should also maintain social distancing especially those returning from the affected countries in the last 14 days,” he said.

With the coming school holidays, Uggah advised parents or the public to avoid visiting and travelling to affected countries and other parts in Malaysia with their children.

He also advised the public to visit the Sarawak Disaster Information Facebook page (www.facebook.com/sarawakdisasterinfo) for the updates on Covid-19 situation in Sarawak.

He said for those who have develop symptoms of Covid-19 such as fever, cough, flu or breathing difficulty, to contact Crisis Prepareness and Response Centre or Divisional Health Department at:

Crisis Prepareness & Response Centre (CPRC): 082-443248; PKB Samarahan — 082-672101; PKB Kuching: 082-248864; PKB Sri Aman — 083-320230; PKB Serian — 082-87233; and PKB Sarikei — 084-652815.

They also contact PKB Betong — 083-472360; PKB Mukah — 084-873302; PKB Sibu — 084-345862; PKB Bintulu — 086-315235; PKB Kapit — 084-796264; PKB Limbang — 085-211726 and PKB Miri — 085 -410722.

He said the management committee will update the public on latest developments on Covid-19 from time to time.

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