Sarawak waiting for results of two suspected cases

  • Nation
  • Thursday, 30 Jan 2020

Press briefing: Uggah (centre) speaking to reporters after chairing a state disaster management committee meeting on the Wuhan coronavirus. With him are state Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian (left) and state secretary Datuk Amar Jaul Samion.

KUCHING: Sarawak is waiting for lab test results of two suspected cases of the Wuhan coronavirus in the state, says Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah.

He said the two patients are now quarantined at the Sarawak General Hospital here and Miri hospital.

Six other suspected patients in the state, including the first reported suspected case involving a Chinese national in Bintulu, had tested negative for the virus, he told reporters after chairing a state disaster management committee meeting here yesterday.

Of the eight suspected cases so far, Uggah said five were in Kuching, comprising three Malaysians, one Thai national and one Chinese national.

The others were one Chinese national each in Sibu and Bintulu and one Malaysian in Miri.

The local suspected patients had visited China recently, he added.

As part of the measures to tackle the outbreak, Uggah said the state government was buying a rapid blood test kit to speed up the verification of suspected cases in the state.

He said test samples were currently sent to the Institute for Medical Research in Kuala Lumpur, with the results available within 36 to 48 hours.

“Once we have our own kit, the time can be shortened and samples from other parts of the state can be sent to Kuching for testing, ” he said.

Uggah also said the state government would purchase two thermal scanners to be placed at the Sibu and Bintulu airports, which do not have the equipment.

He said the scanners would be available within one to two weeks’ time and would be operational immediately.

The state is issuing a self-declaration form for all passengers entering Sarawak to declare where they had travelled to in the past 14 days, he said.

The form will be checked by the Immigration Department at all entry points into the state, he said.

He also advised those coming back from China, including employees and students, to quarantine themselves at home for 14 days.

“We are communicating with employers and schools to allow them to have 14 days’ leave, ” Uggah said.

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