Covid-19 has spread beyond longhouses, Sibu residents told to take threat seriously, says Sarawak asst minister

Sibu Division Disaster Management Committee coordinator Dr Annuar Rapaee said the spread of Covid-19 has reached a worrying level in Sibu. — Picture by Sulok Tawie
Sibu Division Disaster Management Committee coordinator Dr Annuar Rapaee said the spread of Covid-19 has reached a worrying level in Sibu. — Picture by Sulok Tawie

SIBU, Feb 7 — The spread of Covid-19 has reached a worrying level in Sibu.

In fact, according to Sibu Division Disaster Management Committee coordinator Dr Annuar Rapaee, the spread of Covid-19 following the emergence of the Pasai Cluster last month is no longer confined to the 58 longhouses which were affected.

“Looking at the number of new cases at the moment, 27 per cent are from the cluster, while another 70 per cent come from the town area,” he said today.

Dr Annuar, who is also Sarawak Assistant Minister of Local Government and Housing, said this during a talk streamed live on Facebook, hosted by Sibu Municipal Council chairman Clarence Ting Ing Horh.

Sarawak chief infectious disease specialist Dr Chua Hock Hin also joined the talk.  

Dr Chua said the prevalence of the disease in Sibu town was very real, and everybody would need to play their part to curb the spread of the deadly virus.

He lamented that many people did not bother to get a swab test after developing Covid-19 symptoms such as mild fever, runny nose and sore throat.

“When they come to the hospital, they are generally very sick, but the damage has been done and they have already spread the disease to other people,” he said.

He urged the public to go for swab tests as soon as they experienced symptoms so that they could be treated early.

“While waiting for their swab test results, they should refrain from mingling with other people to avoid spreading the virus,” he added.

Dr Chua stressed that the public must adhere to the movement control order (MCO) which is being enforced in Sibu, as well as strictly follow the standard operating procedure (SOP) to combat the disease.

“Do it not just for yourselves, but for your parents, children and spouse also,” he added.

The talk, which attracted an audience of over 200 people, was held just as the Chinese community is busy preparing for the Lunar New Year celebration which falls on February 12.

Ting, who is very concerned with the rising trend of Covid-19 cases in Sibu, has been calling on the community to cancel their family reunion for this year.

As of yesterday, Sibu has recorded 101 Covid-19 positive cases, with 32 from the Pasai Cluster, 30 from active case detections, five from symptomatic screenings, and 34 from swab tests done at health facilities in Sibu.

“After Chinese New Year, there will probably be 200 new cases daily,” said Ting, adding that he was worried after finding out that 45 health workers had been infected.

He said everybody must take personal responsibility to combat the deadly virus.

“Cases in other towns are also rising, but not as many as in Sibu. It will not go away if we do not take personal responsibility in preventing it,” he said. — Bernama

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