Tuesday, April 13

EMCO extension to enable second round of swab test on residents — Dr Annuar

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Abdul Mutalif making the sanitiser solution during the session.

SIBU: The extension of Enhanced Movement Control Order (EMCO) at Sibujaya flats and Townvilla area is to allow the authorities to conduct second round of swab test on the residents.

Sibu Division Disaster Management Committee (SDDMC) coordinator Dr Annuar Rapaee said the second round of screening had started yesterday and is expected to be completed on Friday.

“This is the main reason why we decided to extend the EMCO in that area.

“We want to make sure all residents are tested and if anyone is found positive for Covid-19, he or she will be taken to the hospital.

“From there we can plan our next course of action to contain the spread of the pandemic in that particular area.

“To all residents of Sibujaya flats and Townvilla, the one-week extension is for the benefit of all,” he explained during his Facebook Live session yesterday.

The extension of the EMCO from Feb 26 to March 4 was announced earlier by Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) chairman Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas during a press conference in Kuching yesterday.

The EMCO was first enforced on Sibujaya flats and Townvilla from Feb 12 until 25 following high number of Covid-19 cases detected in the area.

As of yesterday, a total of 387 cases have been detected in the flats while Townvilla has recorded 56 cases. There are 20 blocks of flat in Sibujaya and each block has 80 units.

On another matter, Dr Annuar said that it is not sufficient to just have a lot of real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) machines.

“This is because it is not the number of the machines that matters. We must have enough number of trained technologists to handle the machines.

“We can have a lot of such machines but it will pose a problem if we have untrained technologists. They could provide inaccurate results,” he said.

Explaining further, he said Sibu does not need a lot of such machines during non- pandemic time.

“This is why we have three RT-PCR machines at Sibu Hospital where two is used at the hospital and one at the Clinical Research Centre (CRC) Sibu.

“For daily routine during non-pandemic time, this is sufficient. During pandemic, it is true we need a lot of such machines to conduct sample testing.

“But purchasing of the machine alone is not enough. It is not like buying weighing scales because we need trained technologists to handle the machines.

“The machine is affordable and we can buy hundreds of them but there are various aspects that we need to consider,” he added.

Earlier, Sibu Central Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba) chief Abdul Mutalif Jaafar demonstrated how to make sanitiser solution for home use.