Fear of testing positive for Covid-19 deter many from getting swabbed in Sibu

swab Covid-19
Credit: Berita Harian

THE poor response from the public in Sibu to the health authorities’ Covid-19 detection drive is due to their fears of testing positive, resulting in loss of jobs and incomes, Sibu Division Disaster Management Committee (SDDMC) coordinator Dr Annuar Rapaee said.

Calling for more to get tested, he said those who tested positive would either be admitted to the hospital or to be sent to the quarantine centre and letters of admittance would be issued to them.

“Those letters can prove and serve as a sick leave for you to show to your employer — whether you are a daily worker or working in the public sector or private sector.

“No one can compromise that, so there should be no issue that you cannot go to work and no salary will be given to you,” he said during his Facebook live stream, Borneo Post reported.

Workers could report to the labour department if their employer refused to pay them salaries when they were quarantined.

“It is important because as long as those who are positive, but do not know that they are positive and not being quarantined, they will spread the virus to their families and their colleagues and eventually, we cannot curb this problem,” the Nangka assemblyman pointed out.

Only 549 samples were collected during the Health Ministry’s Active Case Detection at Medan Mall area on Thursday; 294 samples from the ACD at Kampung Bahagia Jaya on Friday; and 392 samples collected from the ACD at Permai Lake Garden today.

For the ACD at Medan Mall area, he said out of 549 samples collected, eight were tested positive.

“If these eight people had not come for swab test, they would have spread the virus to their families and their colleagues, so I want to thank all these eight people who came forward for the swab test,” he said.

Thus, he hoped employers would cooperate to allow and encourage their workers to go for swab test.

“If we are slow in bringing down the cases, there will be mutation of the virus and what we are afraid of is that the mutated virus might show resistance to the vaccines that we have now. This is why we need to bring down the cases as fast as possible,” Dr Annuar said, adding that he was worried the variant would be easily transmitted and might cause severe symptoms.