WhatsApp message claiming Covid-19 cluster at Riam hypermarket not true

 – Reuters file photo

By John Isaac

MIRI Division Disaster Management Committee (MDDMC) minister in charge Datuk Lee Kim Shin has refuted rumours circulating on WhatsApp yesterday (May 13) claiming that a cluster of 60 Covid-19 positive cases was detected at a hypermarket in Riam.

Lee told The Borneo Post today that the information was inaccurate and, based on a report from the Health Department, the eight positive cases detected among the hypermarket’s staff were in fact related to the Jalan Lilin Cluster.

Yesterday, the State Disaster Management Committee had announced the new Jalan Lilin Cluster, which involved 22 positive cases stemming from a birthday celebration.

Lee said the Health Department had engaged with the hypermarket’s management and over 130 personnel were given appointments for Covid-19 swab tests, similar to procedures for a shopping mall here previously.

He said Miri City Council (MCC) has been directed to liaise with supermarkets and hypermarkets to ensure compliance with the new standard operating procedures (SOPs) limiting the number of customers in the premises at any one time.

“MCC’s enforcement team has been on the ground checking on shopping centres to ensure the compliance,” he said.

The Minister for Transport added Miri Acting Resident and MDDMC chairman Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusuf had also been requested to ensure enforcement teams are on the ground patrolling shopping centres here.

In a statement, the hypermarket acknowledged several of its staff have tested positive for Covid-19.

“As a precautionary measure and for the health and safety of our customers, tenants, and staff members alike, we have conducted full disinfection and cleaning process of the premises immediately.

“All our staff and tenants have undergone swab tests and those who have tested positive and been identified as close contacts with positive cases have been immediately sent for quarantine in accordance with guidelines,” said the statement.

The hypermarket also said it would remain open as the premises has been fully disinfected and sanitised, and a new team has been assigned.