Major Covid-19 active case detection in Lawas today

Ir Ahmad Denney Ahmad Fauzi

MIRI: A major Covid-19 active case detection will be held in Lawas starting today (Nov 18).

The samples will be sent by helicopter to Bintulu Hospital for testing, said Limbang Division Disaster Management Committee chairman and Resident Ir Ahmad Denney Ahmad Fauzi.

The State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) has instructed aggressive active case detection and swab test to be carried out over two days on Nov 18 and 19 for more than 1,000 residents of Kampung Banting.

Samples will be taken from 7.30am to 12 noon by the team manned by 120 people mobilised from the Ministry of Health, Resident’s Office, Lawas District Office, Civil Defence Force, Rela and the police.

The divisional committee and Lawas district committee will be working together to mobilise the residents there to head to Kampung Banting for the screening, and are looking forward to their cooperation.

“We will send the samples to Bintulu Hospital by helicopter this Friday instead of to Miri Hospital which already has a lot of samples to process,” Ahmad Denney said.

He said this is to ensure that the results will be known within two to five days as required by SDMC.

The operation is triggered by Case 1031, a retiree who resided in Kampung Banting and had gone to Kota Kinabalu for a medical check-up on Sept 24 and returned to Lawas the following day, where he was ordered to undergo home quarantine.

The first swab test on Sept 27 was found negative but his second test at Queen Elizabeth Hospital returned positive on Nov 12.

In another case, a law enforcement officer on duty in Sindumin who was asymptomatic tested positive when he returned to Lawas.

On Nov 3, SDMC chairman Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah disclosed that the youngest Covid-19 case in Sarawak is a one-year-old baby girl in Lawas.

The baby’s parents had also tested positive after they returned from a Covid-19 high-risk area, Beaufort in Sabah, via the Merapok Immigration, Customs and Quarantine post in Lawas on Oct 29. They were immediately placed in a quarantine centre for 14 days.

The mother is a teacher in a vocational college in Sabah and all the three were screened for the virus on Oct 31 and were found positive on Nov 2.

Meanwhile, Ahmad Denney appealed to everyone in the target group to turn up to undergo the screening due to the high number of Covid-19 infections in neighbouring Sabah.

He had also instructed enforcement efforts to be stepped up at entry points in Lawas, particularly by screening those entering from Sabah through Merapok Immigration post in Lawas.

The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency has also been called upon to look out along rivers while the General Operations Force has been told to snuff out illegal routes at Merapok, Patarikan and Kampung Munchu in Lawas.

He said Limbang Division is expected to have its own molecular laboratory costing RM1 million to undertake Covid-19 tests next year.

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