All eyes on Sarawak as Covid-19 cases spike in the state

By S. Harrish

SARAWAK’S Covid-19 infectivity rate or R-Naught (R0) value has hit 1.08 and with cases spiking, there have been 56 community and workplace clusters so far this year in the state.

Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba described the situation in Sarawak as worrying and their concerns had warranted a special Covid-19 meeting to deliberate ways to stop the virus transmission.

The NST reports that Dr Adham chaired the meeting today which was attended by his deputies, Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, the Sarawak health director and district chiefs as well as the state hospital directors.

“Since Jan 9, the positive Covid-19 cases in Sarawak had increased and up until today, it has not shown any signs of slowing down. We need to address the infections before it goes out of control.”

Yesterday, out of 1,739 new infections, 443 came from Sarawak, which is the second highest state.

“To ensure that Sarawak overcomes the Covid-19 transmissions, I will be flying to Sarawak this evening to meet with the state government and to ensure there will be mobilisation of human resources such as doctors, nurses and assistant medical officers, sufficiency of test kits, Personal Protective Equipment as well as logistics.

“We also need to prepare and set up Covid-19 Quarantine and Low Risk Treatment Centres in a few towns,” he said during the weekly Covid-19 Immunisation Task Force press conference.

Dr Adham said the R0 value in Sarawak and nationwide which stands at 1.06 could dampen an earlier forecast made for cumulative Covid-19 cases to drop to 500 a day in May.

The R0 value was expected to go down from 1.2 to 0.8 but is now at 1.06 and Sarawak at 1.08.

“We will ensure that all preventive measures to control the infections are conducted especially in Sarawak, Penang, Johor and Selangor where cases are rising and we view them as priority,” he said.