Tuesday, September 22

Mass screening in east coast


PUTRAJAYA: The Health Ministry (MOH) will conduct Covid-19 mass screening for the communities in Lahad Datu, Tawau and Kunak districts in the next few days.

Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the mass screening is expected to involve between 15,000 to 20,000 people in the area.

“We (Health Ministry) are ready to do the mass screening in the respective areas and has identified the villages which will undergo screening based on locality,” he told a media conference on Covid-19 development at the Health Ministry here yesterday.

Dr Noor Hisham said the Health Ministry would consider taking action like Enhanced Movement Control Order for localities with high positive cases.

He said the capacity to conduct testing in Sabah is 2,500 (tests) a day.

The ministry will try to contain the pandemic in the affected areas with the mass testing and public health intervention. Therefore, the next couple of days is important in the containment process, Dr Noor Hisham said.

He said MOH had identified three premises as low-risk quarantine centres in Sabah at Tawau Youth Arena Hall, Tawau Prison Complex and Lahad Datu district headquarters.

He said the low-risk quarantine centres would be utilised when the number of patients exceeded the capacity of hospitals and these centres would also be warding Covid-19 positive patients who have no or mild symptoms.

In another development, he also confirmed that the virus which infected Tawar cluster is the same as PUI Sivagangga cluster which is the mutated D614G.

However, to date, the link between the two clusters has not been established.

“MOH has ended the 28-day monitoring for PUI Sivagangga cluster but the Tawar cluster is still being closely monitored. What is sure is that the virus which infected the cluster is the same as Sivagangga cluster.

“For the Sungai cluster, MOH is still isolating and identifying the virus which will take time but we suspect the Sungai cluster may involve the same virus (with Sivagangga cluster),” said Dr Noor Hisham. – Bernama