“Doa selamat” ceremony leads to new Jepak Cluster in Bintulu

By John Isaac

A NEW Covid-19 cluster in Bintulu dubbed the Jepak Cluster has been declared by the State Health Department with 42 cases detected so far, said the State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC).

It said this community cluster involved infections among residents from around Kampung Jepak in Bintulu who attended a wedding ‘doa selamat’ (prayer ceremony) at the village on April 3.

“The index case was a woman from Kampung Jepak who had gone for a screening for symptomatic individual at the Bintulu Health Clinic.

“She was confirmed positive for Covid-19 through the rT-PCR test on April 7,” it said in a statement reported by Borneo Post.

SDMC pointed out that the index case, who was the organiser of the ceremony, may have been infected from the community and results from investigation found that an estimated 70 guests had attended the event.

“Further investigation and screenings on family members, close contacts and casual contacts to this index case as well as those who had attended the ceremony also found another 41 cases which had tested positive for Covid 19,” it said.

In addition to the 42 positive cases (including the index case), it said 102 individuals have been screened of which 36 individuals had tested negative for their first screening and another 24 were pending lab test results.

“All positive cases under this cluster have been referred to Bintulu Hospital and were admitted to the quarantine and low-risk patients treatment centre (PKRC) in Bintulu for isolated and further treatment,” it added.

Meanwhile SDMC said 49 Covid-19 clusters remain active in the state with 16 recording an increase of 182 new positive cases.

It also said that the main causes for the increase in the 489 new cases reported today were from the Tembok Sri Aman Cluster and Jalan Puncak Borneo Cluster.

“The Tembok Sri Aman Cluster reported a total of 76 new positive cases which were second samples taken on the tenth day (of quarantine). This cluster is under controlled as it is contained inside the prison and all necessary measures have been taken to prevent its spread to the local community.

“For the Jalan Puncak Borneo Cluster, there were 47 positive cases which were close contacts and have been quarantined. There is no evidence of the infection being spread to the local community,” it said.

Apart from these two clusters, 14 others which recorded an increase of cases were the Kampung Binyu Cluster in Kuching with 16 new cases; Sungai Gemuan Cluster in Meradong (8); Disso Cluster in Saratok (6); Jalan Bambangan Cluster in Mukah (6); Bulatan Aman Cluster in Sibu (5); Jalan Maju Cluster in Sibu (5); Jalan Bangunan Kerajaan Cluster in Beluru (5); Jalan Kapitan Cluster in Marudi (2); Lorong Desa Senadin Cluster in Miri (1); Jalan Gridbid Cluster in Miri (1); Jalan Kingsway Cluster in Miri (1); Sungai Rassau Cluster in Matu (1); Abak Bon Cluster in Subis (1); and Jepak Cluster in Bintulu (1).

A total of 33 clusters remain active with no new cases recorded.