Tuesday, May 17

Italy source of Covid-19 that claimed 3 family members in Kuching, says Dr Sim


The three family members who died here from the Covid-19 virus were due to an imported case from Italy.

KUCHING: The three family members who died here from the Covid-19 virus were due to an imported case from Italy, said Local Government and Housing Minister Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian.

In confirming the source of the virus affecting the family, he told reporters today that Covid-19 cases in Sarawak were all imported cases and they have also identified new clusters involving Sarawakians who returned from the Netherlands, Holland and Scotland.

He said that given the scenario in the state, it was crucial for people to abide by the Movement Control Order which has been enforced in the country until April 14, this year, to stop the spread of the virus.

“A person might be asymptomatic but they can spread the virus to a lot of people. That’s why people should abide by the Movement Control Order and stay at home,” said Dr Sim.

He also emphasised that as patients can be asymptomatic, they should not blame themselves for spreading the contagious Covid-19 as they were not aware that they had contracted the virus in the first place.

Earlier today, Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg had told reporters that the Covid-19 deaths involving the family members and a pastor were due to imported cases. However, he did not identify where they had contracted the virus.

On March 21, the State Disaster Management Committee reported that a mother and her daughter died from the virus, while her son died on March 23.

The 79-year-old mother had died on March 18 at home, while her daughter succumbed to the virus at the Sarawak General Hospital on March 21.

The committee explained that the delay in reporting the death of the older woman was because the private medical centre where she was warded had to wait for the test results from a private laboratory in Kuala Lumpur.

According to data released by the committee, there are 12 confirmed cases in the family cluster as of 11pm last night.

It also said there are 91 confirmed Covid-19 cases in Sarawak in six clusters, with the largest cluster of 50 people from the religious event in Seri Petaling Mosque in Kuala Lumpur earlier this month.

Sarawak has recorded five deaths from the virus.

The 60-year-old pastor from Emmanuel Baptist Church here, who passed away on March 17, was the first fatality in Sarawak and there 19 cases in the cluster linked to him.