Covid-19: Number of cases in Sarawak rising due to infections during gatherings


PETALING JAYA: The number of Covid-19 cases in Sarawak is increasing as the disease is being spread during family and social gatherings, says Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba.

The Health Minister said that the Covid-19 infectivity rate (Rt) in Sarawak has been rising since January.

To curb the number of rising cases, Dr Adham said he chaired a special Covid-19 meeting on Sarawak with relevant ministry personnel and officials from Sarawak.

"During the session, we discussed the current situation, as well as the needs of the state to ensure that this virus does not continue to spread and go out of control.

"I will go to Sarawak Monday (April 12) afternoon to meet the state government to look at steps to be taken, which includes manpower needs such as mobilisation of doctors, healthcare personnel, nurses, assistant medical personnel and those in allied health sciences group.

"We will also need to ensure that there are enough test kits, personal protective equipment, logistics and laboratory needs," he said in a press conference on Monday.

Dr Adham noted that Sarawak had recorded 39 community clusters and 17 workplace clusters since January.

Of the 39 community clusters, Dr Adham said 21 were detected to be from family gatherings, social parties and birthday parties.

Two clusters were also detected from communal work and training events.

Five other clusters involved longhouses, while three came from villages.

He also said four clusters were detected from those who had crossed districts, while one cluster each was detected from farming, a school and from a cockfight.

Dr Adham noted that the Rt for Sarawak is currently at 1.08, while the Rt nationwide was at 1.06.

Rt is an indicator of how fast Covid-19 is spreading and refers to the reproduction number at a particular point in time.

As such, Dr Adham said looking at the forecast for May, the number of cases now do not look good and was a concern due to non-compliance of standard operating procedures (SOP).

"What we need to stress right now is that we have to work together to ensure adherence to the SOP and guidelines," he said.

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