Rep fears spread of Covid-19 among Penans after woman dies in Telang Usan

Dennis Ngau urged the Penans who previously refused to register for Covid-19 vaccination to do so as it could minimise their risks of getting infected by the virus. — Borneo Post Online pic
Dennis Ngau urged the Penans who previously refused to register for Covid-19 vaccination to do so as it could minimise their risks of getting infected by the virus. — Borneo Post Online pic

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MIRI, June 14 — Telang Usan assemblyman Dennis Ngau has confirmed that the 54-year-old woman who died of Covid-19 in Miri as reported yesterday was a Penan woman from one of the 88 villages in his constituency.

According to him, the woman was tested positive for Covid-19 on June 10 and was taken to the Miri Hospital for treatment. She however succumbed to the virus three days later.

“My worst fear has become a reality. The situation now in my constituency makes me very worried for my constituents, especially the Penans.

“Some 30 Penans from Long Win for instance, were taken down (to Miri) for swab tests last week and I was informed that over 20 were tested positive.

“Now, we also have positive cases (following contact tracing) involving Penans from Long Kevok, Long Latie and Layun,” said Dennis.

In view of this, he called on his constituents, especially the Penans to cooperate with the authorities, including Ministry of Health (KKM) who are now in the midst of doing contact tracing.

“I was made to understand there were some close contacts who ran away from the village and hid in the jungle to avoid from being taken down to Miri for mandatory quarantine at the designated centres.

“I urge each and everyone of my constituents in particular to adhere to the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) and to allow the KKM and authorities concerned to do their job for the betterment of all,” he said.

He also called on his constituents to practice self-lockdown while waiting for the decisions by the relevant authorities.

“We cannot expect the government to go from one village to another to lock us down. We can start practice self-lockdown by staying put in our respective houses,” he said.

On another note, Dennis urged the Penans who previously refused to register for Covid-19 vaccination to do so as it could minimise their risks of getting infected by the virus.

Earlier this month, Dennis said out of the nearly 14,000 Penans in his constituency, he knew only a Penan man who has been vaccinated.

He said that one of the main reasons why the Penans refused to be vaccinated is because they are afraid of the needle. — Borneo Post Online

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