Rise in Covid-19 infections of unknown sources in Sibu cause for concern, says SGH senior consultant

SIBU (Feb 9): The detection of new Covid-19 infections of unknown sources that cannot be linked to clusters has made the fight to stop the spread of the virus here even more challenging, said Sarawak General Hospital (SGH) senior consultant paediatrician Dr Ooi Mong How.

He told a discussion on the pandemic held live on Facebook today that although cases linked to the Pasai Cluster have reduced significantly here, there are still many new cases detected which could be part of several active transmission chains or networks.

Dr Ooi said linking up cases was vital to enable the health authorities to identify the source and find ways to deal with the situation.


“What worries me now is that those cases (of unknown sources) picked up in Sibu town, we still cannot link all these cases up to form a cluster.

“Why it is important to link up all these cases, because if we are able to link them up, we can identify the transmission chain then there is a possibility for us to cut the transmission chain.

“If we have so many cases, like one here, one there and do not seem to have any common thing together that enables us to link them together… then it means that there is a widespread transmission going on in Sibu town.

“A few transmission chains or networks spreading at the same time, this is bad news,” he said in the discussion hosted by Sibu Municipal Council chairman Clarence Ting.

Dr Ooi said for now, it was important to do contact tracing as much as possible and as soon as possible to see whether there was a way to link cases up.

“And the more people we cannot link up means the situation is more difficult,” he said.

Thus, Dr Ooi urged people of Sibu to pay attention to the State Disaster Management Committee’s (SDMC) daily list of locations visited by positive cases.

“If anyone thinks they are exposed in the area at the particular time and worried that they may have developed some symptoms, they should go get tested immediately. This could help to cut the transmission chain,” said Dr Ooi.

The discussion was also participated by Dr Peter Tang from the Rejang Medical Centre, Dr Wong Chya Wei from KPJ Sibu Specialist Medical Centre and Senator Robert Lau.

Sibu currently has the most Covid-19 cases among 40 districts in the state. As of yesterday, Sibu recorded 2,041 out of the total state tally of 5,676 cases.

The Pasai Cluster, which originated in Sibu and has since spread throughout the state, has 2,363 cases as of yesterday.

SDMC also said yesterday that 25 out of 53 deaths in Sarawak from Covid-19 were in Sibu.

Source: Borneo Post

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