Covid-19: S'wak seeing second wave with 10 new cases, says Deputy Chief Minister

  • Nation
  • Friday, 17 Jul 2020

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah speaking to reporters. - Filepic

KUCHING: Sarawak is seeing a second wave of Covid-19 infections with 10 new cases reported on Friday (July 17), says Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah.

The Deputy Chief Minister said six of the new cases were recorded in Kuching, two in Samarahan and two in Bintulu, bringing the state's tally of confirmed cases to 594.

He said the state disaster management committee had directed the Health Department to be prepared for a second wave, including checking the supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) in hospitals and testing frontliners if necessary.

"Let us regard this as the beginning of the second wave. After a certain period with quite a low number (of cases), now we are moving into an increased number of cases.

"If the PPE is insufficient, we will buy more to prepare ourselves so that we won't be caught short," he said at the committee's briefing here.

Uggah also said the department would continue to conduct random testing in selected locations and to test SARI (severe acute respiratory infections) and influenza-like illness (ILI) patients in hospitals.

In addition, he said there were plans to test childcare centres and kindergarten teachers soon as part of efforts to stay ahead of the virus.

"The Health Department is planning all this now so that we can go to all possible areas, including schools and old folks' homes.

"We have also advised clinics to swab patients with cough, asthma or upper respiratory symptoms," he said.

On the 10 new cases, Uggah said two were foreign nationals who were close contacts of a positive patient detected on the LNG Jupiter vessel on July 13.

"They were screened on July 16 and their PCR tests returned positive the same day. Both of them do not have any symptoms.

"They will be taken off the ship and admitted to the Bintulu Hospital for treatment," he said.

Uggah said four were imported cases involving Sarawakian students who recently returned from Australia and were undergoing the mandatory 14-day quarantine.

"Two of them are from Kuching and two from Samarahan. They also do not have any symptoms and have been admitted to the Sarawak General Hospital (SGH)," he said.

Uggah said two cases were local transmissions as both patients did not have overseas travel history.

He said one of them was an elderly woman from Kuching who was admitted to SGH on July 9 for SARI and found to be positive for Covid-19 from a PCR test on July 16, while the other was a co-worker of case 582 who was detected on July 15.

Two other cases involved locals who went for screening at a private hospital and tested positive. They did not have symptoms and the source of their infection is being investigated.

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