Health D-G: Pasai cluster in Sarawak saw 2,693 positive cases, 29 deaths caused by interstate travel

Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah speaks during his daily press conference on Covid-19 in Putrajaya February 9, 2021. — Picture by Hari Anggara
Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah speaks during his daily press conference on Covid-19 in Putrajaya February 9, 2021. — Picture by Hari Anggara

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KUALA LUMPUR, May 8 — The Ministry of Health has detected a potential Covid-19 super spreader which has led to some 2,693 infections and 29 deaths within the longhouse communities in Sarawak.

In a press conference today, Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the Pasai cluster, named after a longhouse community Pasai Siong, Sibu, Sarawak had started after the index case, an electronics factory worker in Tebrau, Johor had flown back to his home state following his father’s death. 

While initial Covid-19 screening of the index case was negative, the index case subsequently infected 58 longhouses that led to 29 deaths.

“The person was allowed to return home to his longhouse and the said person infected 2,693 people and have caused 29 death and have infected 58 longhouses.

“This is what we are worried about. So, we are asking whether this individual who had returned to Sarawak is a (Covid-19) carrier but genomics study shows there was no dangerous variant, but maybe in the rural area, immunity among the Orang Asli might be weak, so there is a high level of infection that eventually led to deaths. 

“So that is the super spreader that we have detected with Covid-19 virus,” said Dr Noor Hisham.

Dr Noor Hisham explained that this is a good example of an interstate travel case that led to a high number of infections.

Last month alone, there are 14 Covid-19 clusters related to interstate travel, said Dr Noor Hisham. 

“So if we allow ‘balik kampung’, interstate or inter-district travel, surely there will be (Covid-19) infections within the community,” he said.

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