KUCHING: A new Covid-19 cluster has been identified in Sarawak after four positive cases were reported Thursday (Aug 20), says the state disaster management committee.
In a statement Thursday, the committee said the new cases were classified as imported cases and brought the state's tally of confirmed infections to 686.
It said the cases were detected among crew members of an oil tanker who showed early Covid-19 symptoms while en route to Bintulu.
"The tanker, which is registered in Port Klang, was at Toyama Shinko Port in Japan from July 27 to Aug 1 before sailing to Labuan on Aug 10.
"On the way to Bintulu waters, the tanker's captain informed the shipping agent that two crew members were sick and needed medical attention.
"Further investigation by the Bintulu health office on Aug 18 found that five crew members had early symptoms of Covid-19. They were brought off the ship to Bintulu Hospital for tests and treatment.
"The PCR tests found that four of the five crew members were positive for Covid-19 on Aug 20," the committee said, adding that the four cases were identified as the new Alam cluster.
It said the remaining 22 crew members would be screened as soon as possible, along with the close contacts involved in bringing the positive cases to hospital.
"Initial investigations showed that this cluster originated from an infection overseas. Further investigations, contact tracing and screening are actively being carried out," it said.
The committee also said the Stutong market cluster has ended as no new cases were reported in 28 days since its last case.
It said there were still seven active clusters in the state involving a total of 59 cases.
One person was discharged from the Sarawak General Hospital, bringing the number of recoveries to 661 or 96.36% of the total cases to date.