Sarawak asst minister refutes claim 23 people in Sibu uncontactable after testing positive for Covid-19

Assistant Minister of Local Government and Housing Dr Annuar Rapaee. — Borneo Post Online pic
Assistant Minister of Local Government and Housing Dr Annuar Rapaee. — Borneo Post Online pic

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SIBU, Jan 20 — Assistant Minister of Local Government and Housing Dr Annuar Rapaee has denied that 23 people who tested positive for Covid-19 here after a mass screening could not be contacted.

Dr Annuar clarified that 10 of them were already receiving treatment in hospital, four others were currently being transported to hospital from lockdown areas, eight were contacted yesterday and the last person was contacted at 12.45pm today.

He explained that out of the 10 who were receiving treatment in hospital, nine were admitted on Jan 17 and the other one was admitted the next day.

“(Therefore) The words ‘untraceable’, ‘unreachable’, or ‘uncontactable’ are not correct. I want to clear such doubts,” Dr Annuar said.

Although Dr Annuar did not mention any name during the press conference, it is understood that he was referring to news report on a Facebook post by Local Government and Housing Minister Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian, who stated that 23 people who tested positive in Sibu during a mass screening could not be contacted.

Dr Annuar said the news had caused unnecessary panic among the Sibu people.

“I think because of this, the public is becoming jittery, everyone feels unsafe,” he added.

Meanwhile, he urged those who had undergone swab tests to ensure that they are contactable 24 hours a day, adding that laboratories are processing the samples around the clock.

He also urged everyone to stay home during the movement control order (MCO) in Sibu.

Dr Annuar said from today onwards, inter-district travel is not permitted for the whole of Sibu division.

“Nobody can go to Kanowit, Dalat, Selangau from Sibu and vice versa. Every district has their roadblocks in place. There will be a roadblock at Batang Lassa, so people from Daro or nearby areas will not be able to come to Sibu and vice versa.

“In Song-Kanowit, we will also have one in place, so there is no movement from those two districts as well. For Dalat, we will set up checks along the river,” he added.

He also said that the police have set up roadblocks to prevent longhouse folks that have been affected from coming and going.

On the swab tests conducted in Sibu, Dr Annuar said at the moment, about 12,000 samples have been collected.

He also said Sibu Hospital is receiving about 1,000 samples per day from Lanang Health Clinic, Sibu Jaya Health Clinic and the drive-through swab testing centre at the Sibu state library.

He added that from the samples received, Sibu hospital had sent 1,500 samples to Kuala Lumpur, 1,500 to Unimas, 500 to Borneo Medical Centre, 250 to Gribbles, 250 to the Sarawak Heart Centre and another 500 to the central laboratory.

“That will be taken care of within 24 or 48 hours. Sibu Hospital will take care on the new samples arriving on a day to day basis.

“Currently, Sibu’s capacity can reach 1,000 samples readings per day. We have three machines, one Clinical Research Centre and another two at the hospital.

“This is our main focus now that is to get the samples done and get the patients who have tested positive to the hospital immediately,” he said. — Borneo Post

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