Outbreak among Miri offshore workers caused spike in Covid-19 cases, says Sarawak deputy CM


KUCHING: Sarawak reported a new daily record high of 361 Covid-19 cases on Thursday (March 4), with an outbreak among offshore workers in Miri contributing to the spike.

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah said 49 out of 89 cases reported in Miri were detected at the Baram oil and gas platform after several day-trip workers did not adhere to standard operating procedures and were exposed to Covid-19 in a high-risk area.

He said the index case was detected during screening of workers.

"We will not take this issue lightly. Companies must also be responsible.

"This is the first time and it seems that it was caused by several persons who did not follow the SOP," he said at the state disaster management committee's briefing here on Thursday.

Uggah said the Miri disaster management committee was now investigating the persons and company involved and would recommend action to be taken.

"If they are found to have breached the SOP, stern action will be taken," he said.

All exposed workers have been screened and quarantined while the platform has been sanitised.

Uggah said Sibu district recorded the second highest number of cases with 73, followed by Bintulu (71), Betong (60), Kuching (22), Subis (11), Sarikei (nine), Mukah (eight), Kapit (six),

Selangau and Serian (four), Meradong (three) and Julau (one), making a total of 10,424 cases in the state to date.

Of the Sibu cases, he said 55% were detected in the Sibu Jaya, Sentosa and Tiong Hua areas, while active contact detection yielded 70% of the cases.

In Betong, 40 of the cases involved a longhouse which had been locked down.

Uggah also said 241,599 individuals had been screened in Sarawak from Jan 1 to March 4, resulting in 9,294 positive cases or 3.85%.

"With the efforts being made by the state government, the positive cases in Sarawak are under control at a rate of 3.85%, which is below the 10% benchmark set by the World Health Organisation," he said.

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