KUCHING: The remote Penan village of Long Lamai in Sarawak's interior has not been spared from the Covid-19 pandemic.
Located in the highlands near the Kalimantan border, the village is currently under the enhanced movement control order until June 19 after at least six villagers tested positive for the virus.
According to the Miri divisional disaster management committee, the six confirmed cases were detected on June 6 after surveillance tests were carried out at the village by a medical team flown in by a Fire and Rescue Department helicopter on June 3.
The committee said the village was placed under the EMCO starting June 5 after the Miri divisional health office identified close contacts of a Covid-19 case there.
"Following the implementation of the EMCO, a 12-member medical team was sent to Long Lamai on June 6.
"They set up a Covid-19 quarantine and treatment centre at Long Lamai to carry out treatment, screening and testing," the committee said.
Some 186 packs of food supplies for the villagers were also flown in together with the team.
Mulu assemblyman Datuk Gerawat Gala earlier confirmed that Long Lamai had been exposed to Covid-19 when a woman who went back to the village for her mother's funeral about three weeks ago tested positive after returning to Miri from the trip through active contact tracing.
The driver of the private vehicle which the woman took to go to Long Lamai reportedly showed symptoms of Covid-19 after the trip and was also found to be positive.
Gerawat declined to comment further on the situation at Long Lamai when contacted as the matter was under the purview of the Miri divisional disaster management committee.
Long Lamai, which has 110 families of 371 people, is accessible by a 10-hour drive from Miri followed by a two-hour boat ride, or a 90-minute flight from Miri to Long Banga followed by an hour-long boat ride.
A second round of swab tests was conducted at the village on Monday (June 7) and minister in charge of the Miri divisional disaster management committee, Datuk Lee Kim Shin, reportedly said that 95 samples were taken.
"The team took 400 test kits for this second round of testing. They worked with a local influencer and a local leader to screen the villagers in batches," he was quoted as saying.