Covid-19: Gawai eve celebration led to new cluster in Sarawak

KUCHING: A Gawai eve celebration led to a new Covid-19 cluster involving three longhouses in Sarawak's Kanowit district.

The state disaster management committee said the Nanga Tada cluster stemmed from a miring (ritual sacrifice) ceremony on May 31 as well as social interaction and close contact among the villagers at the Nanga Tada resettlement scheme.

"The infection in the cluster has reached the second generation.

"A total of 179 individuals were screened, of whom 107 tested positive and 70 negative, with two cases waiting for results," the committee said in a statement on Wednesday (June 23).

The positive cases have been admitted to Sibu Hospital, Kanowit Hospital and the Kanowit quarantine and treatment centre for isolation and treatment.

The committee said three more community clusters were also identified involving longhouses in Meradong, Tatau and Pakan districts.

The Sungai Kotak cluster was detected at a longhouse under the enhanced movement control order at Sungai Kotak, Meradong, following a funeral ceremony.

It has 34 confirmed cases to date out of 101 individuals screened.

The Jalan Kuala Tatau cluster in Tatau currently has 22 confirmed cases, while the Tanjong Lelengau cluster in Pakan has 52 confirmed cases. Both clusters also involved longhouses under the enhanced MCO.

Meanwhile, Sarawak reported 577 new Covid-19 cases and three deaths on Wednesday.

This takes the state's cumulative tally to 61,566 cases with a death toll of 392.

Kuching had the most cases with 145, followed by Pakan (45) and Bintulu (40), while 29 more districts reported between one and 39 cases each.

The latest fatalities were two men aged 52 and 80 years and a 74-year-old woman.

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