Sarawak records new, imported Covid-19 case

The LNG Jupiter which the victim was on board. – photo

By Chew Lip Song

SARAWAK’S recorded a new Covid-19 case today, involving an Indonesian shipping crew en route from Singapore to Sabah who had to seek emergency medical treatment while sailing in waters off Bintulu.

The 59-year-old man is Sarawak’s 580th case but this did not affect Bintulu’s status as a Covid-19 “green zone” as the patient contracted the virus outside the state.

State disaster management committee chairman Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas said the crew was on board LNG Jupiter, a vessel registered in Nassau, the Bahamas, which had started its journey from Himeji, Japan on June 23.

It reached Singapore on July 3, with 30 crew.

“The patient had been screened for Covid-19 on June 16 in Indonesia and June 22 in the Kansai International Airport before starting the journey on June 23. Both tests results were negative.

“The patient experienced diarrhea, fever, shortness of breath and headache on July 3 when the vessel entered Singaporean waters and was treated by medical officers from the shipping company. No Covid-19 tests were conducted.

LNG Jupiter started sailing to Sabah on July 4 and on July 11, while it was near the waters off Bintulu, the patient’s condition deteriorated. The ship’s captain requested the patient to receive further medical attention in Bintulu,” Uggah said in a media briefing.

The patient was brought to the Borneo Medical Centre, Bintulu on July 11 where he was screened for Covid-19 before being referred to the Bintulu Hospital, by which time he was already unconscious and needed respiratory support.

The victim was confirmed Covid-19 positive yesterday.

Meanwhile, health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah announced that seven Covid-19 cases were reported nationwide today, with the tally now 8,725.

He said there were 83 active cases while the death toll remains at 122.

He added that four patients are being treated in the intensive care unit (ICU), with three of them requiring respiratory assistance.