Covid-19: Pasai cluster has infected six generations, says health DG

Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah. – Bernama photo.

By John Isaac

THE Covid-19 infections involving the Pasai Cluster which spread to several districts in Sarawak has now infected six generations since the first case was reported on Jan 9.

Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the cluster which was first detected in Sibu, has now involved 58 longhouses in Sarawak, with the Ministry of Health (MOH) detecting 2,363 positive from 25,500 screenings carried out so far.

He said the cluster occurred when the index case who returned from Johor to attend a relative’s funeral underwent the mandatory quarantine period in a longhouse that lacked isolation and compliance with standard operating procedures (SOP).

“The burial customs at a longhouse takes place over three straight days and involves many visitors from other longhouses,” he said, adding that the cluster also infected 46 health workers in the affected areas.

Meanwhile, Dr Noor Hisham said the MOH was maintaining its projection that the number of new daily Covid-19 cases would reduce to double figures by May.

He said the implementation of the Movement Control Order (MCO), now in its third week, had succeeded in preventing a surge in cases.

“We expect that by the time we reach the fourth week (of the MCO) which is on Feb 13, or as we have now extended until Feb 18, we will probably see a decrease in cases.

“Based on our calculation, that is four weeks of MCO followed by the Conditional MCO, we may be able to lower the Covid-19 infectivity rate (Rt) or R-naught from 1.2 to 0.6,” he said, adding that MOH expects the Covid-19 curve of infection to be flattened by March or April.

He also urged Malaysians to continue to follow the prescribed SOPs and remain at home if there was nothing important to attend to outside.

Meanwhile, on the Covid Assessment Centre (CAC) set up at Stadium Melawati, Shah Alam, he said as of yesterday, 1,048 cases had come for assessment and of the total, 923 were given a release order, 100 were referred to the Covid-19 Quarantine and Low-Risk Treatment Centre (PKRC) at the Malaysia Agro Exposition Park Serdang, eight patients were sent to Hospital Sungai Buloh, and 17 individuals were undergoing home monitoring. — Bernama

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