Covid-19: Major outbreak in Sibu; Pasai Siong cluster emerges: Eight longhouses under lockdown

By John Isaac

SIBU today recorded 37 positive Covid-19 cases and the emergence of a new cluster, dubbed the Pasai Siong Cluster, said Sibu Disaster Management Committee chairman Charles Siaw.

Siaw said the new cases were detected through the screening results of a woman who returned to her longhouse Rumah Langi Ambau Douglas from Johor on Dec 29.

“The case of the woman, case 1175, was announced by the Sarawak State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) on Jan 7,” he said at the press conference reported by Borneo Post today.

All the eight longhouses in Pasai Siong and its surrounding areas would be locked down for 14 days.

The eight longhouses affected are Jelian Nayor, Ringgit Unchu, Langi Ambau, Pom Maja, Nyanggai Alok, Jeram Empin, Kelly Chundau and Nyambong Ajon.

Siaw said the case was now being treated at Sibu Hospital.

He said on Dec 29, the case returned from Johor Bharu via Kuala Lumpur on Firefly FY1335 flight at 8am (seat 5A) and then took the Malaysia Airlines MH2536 (Seat 20OD) transit flight Kuala Lumpur to Kuching at 1.35pm on the same day.

Upon arrival at Kuching International Airport, she was swabbed for the first time and the result was negative.

She then proceeded to Sibu on AirAsia AK6466 (Seat 24D) flight from Kuching arriving Sibu at 8.50pm and she was given a departure to carry out quarantine at home in Pasai Siong (Rumah Langi) to attend her father’s funeral.

Siaw said the case second swab was taken on Jan 5 at Lanang Health Clinic and the result was positive when out on Jan 6.

On Jan 7, he said the Ministry of Health screened 74 residents of Rumah Langi and the results on Jan 8 found a total of 37 positive cases were detected.

He said screening would be conducted at the nearby longhouse today and tomorrow.

He said the Police had already set up road block at the entrance to Rumah Langi, Pasai Siong, which is about 15 km from Jalan Teku Pasai at 11.30pm on Jan 8.

He said food and health facilities would be given to the eight longhouses involved during the blockage.

On another matter, he said effective Jan 8, all passengers arriving at Sibu Airport from outside Sarawak would have to undergo mandatory quarantine at the hotel.

“Previously, we had trouble getting hotel rooms as quarantine centres. Therefore, action had been taken to limit incoming flights to Sibu starting Jan 10 where only two flights from Kuala Lumpur per week were allowed to enter Sibu.

“We have also sent passengers arriving at Sibu Airport from outside Sarawak to be quarantined at quarantine centre in their respective divisions in Betong, Sarikiei, Mukah and Kapit.”

He said flights from Johor Bharu and Kota Kinabalu to Sibu respectively would also be cancelled starting Jan 10.

He also reminded those attending the funeral ceremony at Rumah Langi, Pasai Siong from Dec 29 to Dec 31 to attend the examination and screening at Lanang Health Clinic or Sibu Jaya Health Clinic.

He said any approval to hold the event or public assembly program that had been approved by Sibu Division Disaster Management Committee previously was withdrawn with immediate effect.

Present at the press conference included Sibu Hospital Director Dr Nathakumar Thirunavukkarasu and Senator Robert Lau.

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