THE Covid-19 situation in Kuching, Sarawak can be brought under control if a blanket lockdown is imposed, says Sarawak Housing and Local Government Assistant Minister Dr Annuar Rapaee.
Expressing his opinion in a Facebook livestream, he said the only restriction currently being enforced in the city and southern region was a ban on inter-district travel.He said this in reply to a query by a viewer on the spike in Covid-19 cases in Kuching.
The viewer had also asked why the approach used to tackle the Pasai cluster could not be simulated for Kuching.
“When the Pasai Cluster was detected (on Jan 28), we immediately imposed a lockdown on longhouses in the area during night-time. “A total of 37 cases were detected and yet, cases still spread to other places,” said Dr Annuar.
As for Kuching, which is reporting between 300 and 400 cases daily, the Nangka assemblyman said some of the places, where the cluster was detected, were already under lockdown.
“With extensive vaccination still going on, I think the situation will be all right soon,” he added.
Responding to another question on whether Sibu had achieved herd immunity, Dr Annuar said it did not only depend on the number of people vaccinated.
Other factors playing a part were new variants of the coronavirus and the number of serious cases, he highlighted.
“Whether or not we achieve herd immunity, I believe we still need to vaccinate as many people as possible because at the end of the day, it will reduce the number of serious cases at the hospital ICU and not overwhelm the health facilities,” added Dr Annuar.
He said 95.2% or 226,963 of adults above 18 years old had received the first dose and 87.3% or 207,973 people had their second dose of the vaccine in Sibu Division comprising Sibu, Kanowit and Selangau.
“We are left with only about 19,000 people waiting for their second dose.
“We have intensified our vaccination effort these past few weeks.
“We are now doing mobile vaccination at pasar malam, the central market and at Pasar Tamu Taman Indah,” he said.
Dr Annuar stressed that Sibu had not overcome the coronavirus.
“We can only avoid falling into the red zone if we have fewer than 50 cases a week.
“We are still adopting the same methods in our fight against the disease by imposing quarantine and advising people to always adhere to the SOP,” he said.