KUCHING, July 17 — Sarawak may be on the brink of a second Covid-19 wave as 10 more positive cases were registered in the state over the last 24 hours, the state Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) said today.

Chairman Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah said he has asked the state Health Department to make early preparations for a possible second phase.

“Next Monday, the department will tell us the status of PPE (personal protective equipment) all over Sarawak so that we will not be caught out like we were in the first phase,” Uggah told reporters during his media briefing.

“If it is not enough, then we will buy the PPE ourselves. We have asked the Health Department to prepare the frontliners, and if necessary, test them so that by the time they are on the frontlines treating any possible patients, we know they are negative. Then they will be more confident.”


“We will also continue with random tests in some of the markets,” he said, adding that he will not name the markets because when he did at his press conference yesterday, they emptied out.

He said people should not be afraid of being screened for Covid-19, saying that they will feel a sense of relief if they test negative.

Uggah, who is also the deputy chief minister, said SDMC will always try to stay ahead of Covid-19.


“Soon, we will be testing teachers at kindergartens, daycare centres and schools, old folks’ homes, and other possible areas, like clinics and hospitals, for the virus,” he said.

On the 10 positive cases, Uggah said six are from Kuching district, and two each from Samarahan and Bintulu districts, bringing the total to 594.

He said two of the cases are close contacts to a positive case reported on July 13 onboard the LNG Jupiter vessel.

“The two cases were screened on July 16 and RT-PCR tests showed they were positive for the virus,” he said, adding that they have been admitted to Bintulu Hospital.

He said four other cases involved Sarawakians who recently returned from abroad.

He said they are categorised as imported cases.

He said two of them are from Kuching district and another two from Samarahan district.

Uggah said a woman, who is suffering from Severe Acute Respiratory Infection (SARI) from Kuching district, was tested for Covid-19.

He said she received treatment at a health clinic and was then referred to Sarawak General Hospital on July 9 as she was suffering from SARI.

He said a RT-PCR test taken on July 16 indicated that she was Covid-19 positive.

“This case is locally infected as she has no history of going overseas,” he said.

He said another locally-infected case involved a healthcare worker.

“The case is a co-worker of Case 582 who was detected on July 15,” he said.

Uggah said two other cases involved local Sarawakians who went on their own to a private hospital to screen for the virus.

He said the state Health Department is conducting an investigation on the sources of the infection.