Tuesday, October 19

Dr Sim: State Health Dept urged to do ‘aggressive’ contact tracing of Covid-19 cases recorded on July 10

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KUCHING: Local Government and Housing Minister Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian is urging the State Health Department to do aggressive contact tracing of the two new Covid-19 cases recorded on July 10.

In a Facebook post earlier this morning, Dr Sim said that the Health Department would need to work beyond the standard operating procedures (SOP) in contact tracing as well as quarantine as he was concerned that the two cases could rapidly evolve into a new cluster and the beginning of a second wave.

“Those who are potentially exposed or (came into) proximity to these two Covid-19 cases should come forward to be screened by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) swab test at any of the five Klinik Kesihatan in Kuching (8am to 1pm, Monday to Friday) or Klinik Kesihatan Petrajaya (8am to 1pm, Saturday).

“I have also requested for another one of Klinik Kesihatan in Kuching to be open on Sunday as 24 hours potentially means spreading to more people,” Dr Sim said in his Facebook post.

He also advised Sarawakians not to panic because panicking would not help fight the disease.

He said the emergence of the two new local transmitted cases yesterday was not unexpected because he had in a previous Facebook post anticipated it as Sarawak had begun to open up more businesses and premises since the beginning of the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO) three weeks ago.

“Not unexpected as I had posted earlier about this critical week for any local outbreak (14 days incubation period) after our reopening slightly less than three weeks ago,” said Dr Sim.

He revealed case 574 was a pensioner from Sky Garden area, who was believed to have potential exposure to Green Road market. His initial PCR swab test was positive for Influenza but after bronchial lavage, the sample was positive for Covid-19.

“This showed how technically challenging it is to diagnose Covid-19. Congratulations to the medical team from different specialities coming together, perseverance in diagnosing Covid-19.

“A bit late but at least not diagnosed wrongly,” he said.

The second case, case 575, involved a lady from Samariang working in a consulting engineer firm in Simpang Tiga, Dr Sim continued.

Both of the cases, he said, had symptoms of Severe Acute Respiratory Infection (Sari) and both had no history of overseas travel, meaning that there could be more than two isolated cases, and urged those who have close contact with the two cases to immediately get themselves screened.

“We need every Sarawakian to seriously help, to seriously vigilance, to seriously practice #NewNorm, seriously #SocialDistancing, #FaceMask, seriously #HandHygiene, seriously #ContactTracing apps.

“We had managed to flatten the first wave earlier. We need Sarawak Solidarity and United War’s Effort to prevent #2ndWave in Sarawak!

“Melbourne second lockdown for six weeks. The last paragraph of The Age’s article below is very important for everyone of us. McLaws notes all governments are learning on the job during this pandemic. ‘It’s happening so fast but you have to act fast too. Otherwise, we’re always going to be two or three steps behind the virus.’,” he said.