EMCO may be imposed in Sarawak if Covid-19 cases rise

Dr Noor Hisham

By S. Harrish

ENHANCED Movement Control Order (EMCO) may be enforced in certain areas of Sarawak if there is an increase in number of Covid-19 cases.

Health Department director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah however said the situation in Sarawak was under control although the State experienced a number of new cases and clusters over the past week.

“We have managed to control the situation now but if necessary, we will implement EMCO in the affected areas,” he said in Putrajaya yesterday.

He said the clusters were also under control and the ministry was continuing contact tracing for those exposed to the positive cases.

“After being traced, close contacts will be tested and if found positive, they will be admitted to the hospital, while those who are negative will be quarantined,” he added.

There are eight active clusters in Sarawak –  engineering, Mambong, medical, Jupiter, Stutong market, Kuching jetty, Sentosa and Melbourne clusters.

Dr Noor Hisham also said the country may see a surge in the number of new Covid-19 cases soon if the infection rate or R-naught (R0) exceeds 1.6, reports Bernama.

Voicing his worry, he said the current R0 had increased to 1.36 compared to 0.3 during the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) which ended on June 9.

He said, this followed the increase in the number of cases as well as new clusters recently.

“The number of active cases with the infection rate on July 9 was 63, and yesterday, there is an increase of 143.

“If the R-naught (R0) rises, we are worried that this means there are many who will be infected. What is dangerous is if the R-naught exceeds 1.6,” he said.