CMCO returns as Covid-19 cases surge

SDMC announces 14-day movement restriction for Kuching, Sibu and Miri after daily infections soar to 153

KUCHING: A 14-day Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) would be enforced in the Covid-19 ‘Red Zones’ of Kuching, Sibu and Miri starting Jan 13, announced Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah.

The decision came after Sarawak registered a record high of 153 infections yesterday, raising the cumulative number of cases in the state to 1,428.

Uggah, who is also Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) chairman, said the decision for the CMCO was in line with the National Security Council (NSC) guidelines.

Uggah speaks to the press, with Dr Sim looking on. — Photo by Muhammad Rais Sanusi

“When one district turns to red, we have to consider whether to issue CMCO or not. With the increase in Covid-19 cases in the state, SDMC has assessed the situation by taking into account the number of locally-transmitted infections recorded in Sarawak, which is 209 cases in the last 14 days.

“Therefore, it is decided that CMCO would be implemented from Jan 13 to 26 for the Red Zones of Kuching, Sibu and Miri,” he said, adding that the details of the standard operating procedures (SOP) for the affected areas would be released today.

The Kuching Zone covers the districts of Samarahan and Serian, while Sibu Zone includes Sarikei District.

Uggah said SDMC intended to reduce the operating hours of businesses during the CMCO period.

He also said that interstate travel from Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Labuan would not be allowed during the CMCO period, except with permission from the police.

“For inter-zone travel in the state, a police permit is required as well. Those leaving Red Zones or going to enter Red Zones would need a police permit.”

On the number of new cases yesterday, Uggah said the highest number was recorded in Miri with 94 cases, followed by Sibu (25), Dalat (17), Kuching (13), Sri Aman (two), Selangau (one) and Beluru (one).

He also announced that a new cluster, dubbed the ‘Jelita Cluster’, had been identified involving Miri District.

“In Miri, a total of 30 cases have been linked to active clusters in the state, namely the Bah Sayap Cluster (23), Stutong Cluster (four), Pasai Cluster (two) and the new Jelita Cluster (three).

“Two of the positive cases were individuals who had returned from high-risk Covid-19 infection areas, and 60 cases are still under investigation,” he said.

On positive cases in Sibu, Uggah said 20 infections yesterday were from the Pasai Cluster; two from symptomatic individual screenings; two from individuals who had returned from a high-risk Covid-19 infection area; and one from close-contact screening.

As for Dalat, all 17 infections recorded yesterday were from the Pasai Cluster, he added.

For Kuching, Uggah said the 13 new positive cases consisted of eight individuals who were screened after returning from high-risk Covid-19 infection areas; three from symptomatic individual screenings; and two from the Stutong Cluster.

“As for Sri Aman District, a positive case was linked to the Pasai Cluster while the other case is detected from close-contact screening,” he said.

The sole positive case in Beluru was detected from a symptomatic individual screening whereas in Selangau, the positive case involved an individual who had returned from abroad.

Meanwhile, Uggah reported a total of four new Covid-19 recoveries at Sarawak General Hospital (SGH) and Bintulu Hospital, which raised the cumulative number of recoveries in the state to 1,110 or 77.03 per cent of the overall number of cases. He also said that 310 patients remain hospitalised throughout the state, with 122 at Miri Hospital, 103 at Sibu Hospital, 78 at SGH and seven at Bintulu Hospital.

“There are 168 new person under investigation (PUI) cases reported today (yesterday) with 12 PUI pending lab test results,” he added.

Since the first positive Covid-19 case was reported in Sarawak on March 13 last year, the state has recorded a total of 19 deaths.

With Uggah at the press conference were Local Government and Housing Minister Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian and Sarawak Health Department director Dr Chin Zin Hing.

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