Mutated Covid-19 strains in Sarawak raises need for urgent vaccinations

By S. Harrish

SOME one million rural Sarawakians need to be urgently immunised against Covid-19 as mutated variants of the virus have been discovered in Dayak longhouses.

Telang Usan assemblyman Dennis Ngau described the task as a big one with logistics challenge.

According to a report in The Vibes, Ngau said the health department teams were doing their best to bring the vaccine safely to remote areas but there was some sense of hesitation and fear among many rural folks.

“If this continues, they are all in big, big trouble because the coronavirus is mutating.”

Ngau, who is from Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu, alleged that certain opposition politicians are telling rural folks to not register for the Covid-19 vaccine.

“They are telling them to shun the immunisation programme.”

He urged native folks to view, with great concern, the latest trend where the coronavirus has spread far and wide into many longhouses.

There are at least two new variants of the coronavirus circulating in Sarawak, including in longhouses in rural districts, according to latest research findings by the Institute of Health and Community Medicine in Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas).

Unimas had in its latest report two days ago confirmed finding two variants: “B1-like” and “B1.470”.