By John Isaac
SARAWAK recorded the highest number of daily Covid-19 cases to date with 55 new cases today, the State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) said in a statement.
Previously, the highest daily number of cases in the state was 32 — recorded on April 1 last year.
Out of those, 37 cases were recorded in Sibu, 15 in Kuching, two in Miri and one in Bintulu, bringing the total cumulative number of cases in the state to 1,251.
Out of the 15 cases in Kuching, four were imported cases, having returned from high risk infection areas in the country.
Two are Sarawakian sisters who just returned from Kunak, Sabah. They returned to Sarawak on Dec 31 on a flight from Kota Kinabalu to Kuching.
Before returning to Sarawak, these cases underwent screening in Kunak, Sabah on Dec 27 and both cases were found to be negative for rT-PCR test.
Upon arrival at the Kuching International Airport on Dec 31, they were again screened because their test results before entering Sarawak had exceeded three days from the date the test was taken. Again the rT-PCR test for them was found to be negative on Jan 1.
Both cases were brought to the quarantine centre in Kuching to undergo a mandatory 10-day quarantine order. The cases underwent a second screening test on Jan 7 and both were found to be positive. They did not experience any signs or symptoms and were admitted to Sarawak General Hospital (SGH) for further treatment.
According to reports in Borneo Post, the other two imported cases were two Sarawakian brothers who had returned from Penang on Jan 7. They arrived at the Kuching International Airport and had undergone screening and were given quarantine instructions at the quarantine centre.
The results of the screening test of both cases on Jan 7 were found to be positive. They did not show any signs or symptoms and were admitted to SGH for further treatment.
Meanwhile, seven locally transmitted cases are individuals who have undergone Covid-19 self-screening who have a history of visiting or working at locations at the same time as cases related to the Stutong Cluster.
These seven individuals consist of two men and five women in the age range of 22 to 54 years. These cases underwent Covid-19 screening on Jan 8, and test results out on Jan 8 and Jan 9 were found to be positive.
These cases have been admitted to SGH for further treatment.
Another locally transmitted case involved a local Sarawakian man who has undergone screening at a private hospital for having contact with a case from the Keranji Tabuan Cluster. The case did not experience any signs or symptoms and was admitted to SGH for further treatment.
Three other locally transmitted cases were tested positive after they had shown symptoms. One is a local Sarawakian woman who has undergone self-screening for Covid-19 after having symptoms of fever and headache for the past six days.
The case underwent screening at a private health facility in Kuching on Jan 8, and was found to be positive on the same day.
The case has been admitted to SGH for further treatment. This case is categorised as a locally transmitted case until investigation finds the cause of infection. Contact tracing for this case is being carried out by the Kuching Division Health Office.
Two Sarawakians from the same family went to screen for Covid-19 because they had symptoms. Both cases received treatment at a private health facility in Kuching and underwent screening on Jan 8 and the results were found positive the next day.
One of the cases experienced symptoms of body aches on the head and chest while the other experienced symptoms of runny nose and loss of sense of smell. They have been admitted to SGH further treatment. The cases are categorised as locally transmitted case until investigation finds the cause of infection. Contact tracing for this case is being carried out by the Kuching Division Health Office.
Over in Miri, one locally transmitted case was detected, which was the result of contact tracing of positive cases. The case is a local Sarawakian man who had contact with four previously reported positive cases after picking them up at Miri Airport.
The case started experiencing cough symptoms since Jan 5, and went for screening on Jan 7 and was found to be positive the next day. He has been admitted to Miri Hospital for further treatment. Investigation is ongoing and contact tracing is being done by the Miri Divisional Health Office.
The other case in Miri is an imported case involving an Indonesian man who has undergone screening for the purpose of signing off from a ship that is anchored outside the waters of Miri. The case was screened on Jan7 by a health worker from a private hospital in Miri and tested positive for the virus the next day.
The case showed no signs or symptoms. Preliminary investigations showed that the ship had previously stopped and all crews were allowed to sign off and sign on at Labuan Port before heading to Miri. The case is categorised as an imported case, with infection possibly occurring during the crew stop and sign off at Labuan Port.
The case is still under investigation and crew members will be allowed to be brought down to shore for examination and treatment once approval to dock is obtained.
The single case in Bintulu is an imported one involving an Indonesian man who came to Sarawak to work at a shipping company in Miri, Sarawak on Dec 31. The case arrived in Malaysia on Dec 23 by flight to Kuala Lumpur International Airport.
Upon arrival in Malaysia, the case underwent quarantine instructions at the quarantine centre in Cheras until Dec 29. The rT-PCR test screening of the case was found to be negative for samples taken on Dec26 and 29. The case then underwent self-quarantine at a hotel in Selangor before leaving for Bintulu.
A third screening test conducted on Jan 7 found that he tested positive for the virus. This case showed no signs or symptoms and was admitted to Bintulu Hospital for further treatment. This case is still under investigation and contact tracing is being done.
The remaining 37 cases in Sibu were detected through the screening results of a woman who returned to her longhouse Rumah Langi Ambau Douglas from Johor on Dec 29 and are part of the new cluster dubbed the Pasai Siong Cluster.