KUCHING (April 13): Health workers from other states will be deployed to help contain the surge in Covid-19 cases in Sarawak, said Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba.
He told reporters here that the additional personnel were needed to carry out contact tracing, testing, and treatment in areas that have seen a spike in cases, in order to curb the infection.
“We estimate that we need 300 to 500 more personnel in various categories, including doctors, nurses, medical assistants, lab technicians and those carrying out rapid tests in the field.
“We will mobilise health workers from within Sarawak, whereby those in green zones can help. Secondly, we are in the process of arranging for the redeployment of frontliners from other states where the numbers are low,” he said when meat after visiting the Covid-19 vaccination centre at the Indoor Stadium here today.
Dr Adham also said measures would be taken to enhance the preparedness of health facilities in the state to handle any sudden surge in cases.
He noted that community and workplace clusters had emerged in Sarawak, while the infectivity rate (Rt) continued to rise.
Rt is an indicator of how fast Covid-19 is spreading and refers to the replication number at a particular point in time
“Currently, the Rt has increased to 1.1, Yesterday it was 1.08. An Rt of 1.1 means one person can infect 11 others.
“This is what we want to contain,” he said.
He added that the ministry was looking out for any new variants of the disease in Sarawak, particularly in the oil and gas industry which involves workers from outside the state.
He also said Covid-19 standard operating procedures (SOP) must be strictly enforced to curb the spread.
“There has been a lack of compliance with SOP recently. We hope that we can suppress the infection with compliance,” he said.
On the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme, Dr Adham said Sarawak was well prepared and had already started using mass vaccination centres such as the Indoor Stadium.
“Sarawak has the capability to vaccinate up to 40,000 people a day, depending on the supply of vaccines,” he said.
He also said the Special Committee on Covid-19 Vaccine Supply (JKJAV) had decided that media personnel working on the front lines would be included in the second phase of the immunisation programme from April 19.
“In the second phase, we will vaccinate media personnel defined as those working in situations where they face risk of infection,” he said.
Dr Adham was on a working visit to Kuching. His itinerary in the state capital began with a courtesy call on Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas who is also Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) chairman.
This was followed by a courtesy call on Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg prior to his visit to the Indoor Stadium.
He also visited the Low Risk Treatment Centre (PKRC) and Quarantine Centre in Serian, before going to the Sg Engkabang Longhouse at Mile 12, Serian-Sri Aman Road.