KUCHING: Sarawak reported three new Covid-19 cases on Wednesday (May 27), bringing the state's tally of confirmed cases to 552.
Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah (pic) said two of the new cases were from Kuching and one was from Samarahan.
He said the Samarahan case was a contact of a student from Tanjung Manis who tested positive on Monday (May 25).
"We were informed that the student visited a friend in Samarahan before returning to Tanjung Manis. After tracing the contacts of the student, 11 close contacts tested negative and 14 more are awaiting lab results," Uggah said at the state disaster management committee's daily Covid-19 briefing here on Wednesday (May 27).
On the two Kuching cases, he said 25 close contacts had been screened and all tested negative.
"When there is a positive case, health personnel will trace the close and casual contacts of the case for testing. This is our normal operating procedure. The policy is to ensure the transmission can be broken as quickly as possible," he said.
Uggah also said Samarahan district was declared to be yellow again with the latest case detected there, but added that Sibu was now categorised as a green zone after recording no new cases in the last 14 days.
On Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah's announcement that Covid-19 patients who still tested positive after 14 days of hospital treatment could be safely discharged, Uggah said the committee would leave it to doctors to decide on discharging such patients.
He said this was because Sarawak's scenario was different, with some patients possibly coming from the interior areas.
"So we are leaving the decision to our expert doctors in hospitals in Sarawak. They may also look at the home that the patient will return to.
"If the home is only 500 square feet with six or seven residents, I'm sure the doctors will take into consideration whether it is conducive for that patient to go back," Uggah said.
Dr Noor Hisham had said on Tuesday (May 26) that the latest World Health Organisation data showed that patients who had undergone 14 days of treatment could no longer infect others.
"With the new information that we have obtained, if after 14 days, even though the PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test is positive, we can discharge them," he had said.