Sarawak chalks up another 165 Covid-19 cases, including 90 from Pasai Siong cluster

Medical staff conduct a Covid-19 swab test using the RTK-Antigen Covid-19 Kit in Dewan Serbaguna MBPJ in Petaling Jaya. The test will be conducted until this Friday for a fee RM70 January 19, 2020. — Picture by Hari Anggara
Medical staff conduct a Covid-19 swab test using the RTK-Antigen Covid-19 Kit in Dewan Serbaguna MBPJ in Petaling Jaya. The test will be conducted until this Friday for a fee RM70 January 19, 2020. — Picture by Hari Anggara

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KUCHING, Jan 19 — Sarawak registered today 165 Covid-19 cases, including 90 from the Pasai Siong cluster, as confirmed by state Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) chairman Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah during a press conference.

He said positive cases from the Pasai Siong cluster now stand at 754.

He added a total of 4,250 individuals linked to the cluster have been swabbed for Covid-19, where 2,500 of them have tested negative and the outcome of tests from 996 others are still pending.

Uggah said Sibu today recorded 65 cases, Miri (28), Kanowit (24), Beluru (15), Sarikei (10), Sebauh (3), Kuching (2), Bintulu (2), Subis (2), Dalat (1), Belaga (1), Meradong (1), Samarahan (1) and Daro (1), bringing the cumulative number for Sarawak to 2,367 cases.

He said the state Health Department today declared the emergence of a new cluster in Miri after nine people tested positive for the coronavirus there.

He said the index case for the Rakut cluster was detected through the screening of close contacts on January 12.

“As of noon today, a total of 33 individuals have been swabbed,” Uggah said.

During the same press conference, the state Health director Dr Chin Zin Hing said he is confident that Sibu Hospital has the capacity to continue treating Covid-19 patients, despite the mounting cases.

Uggah said 79 per cent of hospital beds are currently occupied by Covid-19 patients.

“We also have four quarantine and treatment centres for low-risk cases,” he said.

He added the Methodist Centennial Park in Sibu can accommodate up to 94 beds and will be in operation later this evening.

He said there are also 94 beds at Kemuyang Youth Camp and another 800 at Desa Sanyan Hotel which will be available in a week’s time.

Dr Chin said some of the swab samples taken in Sibu have been sent to the Sarawak General Hospital in Kuching, Borneo Medical Centre Kuching, and Universiti Malaysia Sarawak for lab testing.

He added 1,500 samples were sent to Kuala Lumpur today.

“With this approach, the state Health Department is confident that the waiting period for the results can be reduced by between 24 and 36 hours,” he said.

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