Sarawak minister: Don't link race and religion to Covid-19


  • Nation
  • Monday, 06 Apr 2020

KUCHING: A state minister has urged Sarawakians not to make wild allegations about an Covid-19 infection cluster here involving an individual who had travelled to Italy.

State Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah (pic) cautioned against stirring up racial sentiments over the cluster.

"I've seen viral posts and accusations involving this cluster. I want to stress that this virus does not recognise race or religion. What happened was something nobody wanted.

"There's no need to talk about the deaths being caused by a person of a particular race and give rise to undesirable sentiments," he said at the state disaster management committee's daily media briefing on Covid-19 here on Monday (April 6).

Karim called on the public to stay calm.

"I hope Sarawakians will not make wild accusations," he said.

On Sunday (April 5), Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said a cluster of 37 infections had been detected, stemming from an individual with a travel history to Italy.

He said five people in the cluster had died while one critical case was in intensive care.

Meanwhile, Karim said Sarawak recorded nine new positive cases on Monday, bringing the state's tally to 273 cases since March 13.

Of the new cases, eight are being treated at the Sarawak General Hospital here and one at Bintulu Hospital.

He also said there were 76 new persons under investigation (PUI), comprising 56 in Kuching, eight in Samarahan, three each in Serian, Miri and Bintulu, two in Bau and one in Simunjan.

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