By S. Harrish
THERE was a sharp increase in the number of Covid-19 cases in Sarawak today, mainly due to an outbreak in an immigration depot in Semuja.
The state recorded 303 cases but almost one-third (99 cases) were from the Semuja immigration depot cluster in Serian.
State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) chairman Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas said Serian had a total of 101 new cases today.
Other districts are Bintulu (57), Sibu (47), Miri (27), Meradong (13), Kapit (10), Julau (9), Kuching (8), Sarikei (8), Sri Aman (6), Tanjung Manis (5), Bukit Mabong (4), Sebauh (2), Bau (1), Belaga (1), Kanowit (1), Samarahan (1), Selangau (1) and Subis (1).
Sarawak’s total number of cases is now 13,413.
There was also a death today, involving a 58-year-old female Sarawakian in Sibu.
This brings the death toll in the state to 95.
In view of the high number of cases at the immigration cluster, Uggah said the State Health Department will increase its screening capacity at detention depot centres and prisons in Sarawak.
There are two immigration detention depots – the Semuja Immigration Depot (463 detainees) and Bekenu Immigration Depot in Miri (521 detainees).
Sarawak has six prisons with 3,460 prisoners (3,268 men and 192 women).
Puncak Borneo Prison in Kuching has 1,210 inmates, Sri Aman Prison (407), Sibu Prison (559), Bintulu Correctional Centre (290), Miri Prison (566) and Limbang Prison (428).
Meanwhile, the Health ministry reported 1,213 Covid-19 cases and three deaths nationwide today.
Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said there were 1,503 recoveries, bringing the total number of discharges to 312,461.
He said the total number of infections now stands at 328,466, with 14,782 active cases.
There are 155 patients in the ICU, with 54 on respirators.
The three deaths bring the number of fatalities to 1,223.
All the deaths today involved Malaysians, between the ages of 58 and 82.
Selangor reported the highest number of infections with 353 cases, followed by Sarawak (303), Johor (142), Penang (104), Kuala Lumpur (79), Sabah (73), Perak (39), Kedah (38), Negeri Sembilan (23), Kelantan (20), Terengganu (15), Pahang (14), Malacca (eight) and Labuan (two).