KUCHING (Oct 18): Sarawak recorded five new locally transmitted positive Covid-19 cases in Kuching district today, bringing the total number of positive cases in the state to 768, said the State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC).

It said four of these cases involved children (three girls and a boy) who were close contacts to a positive Covid-19 case and were detected through the second screening on the tenth day when they were instructed to undergo the mandatory 14-day quarantine.

“The index case for these cases is Case 719, a citizen who had a history of travelling to a high-risk Covid-19 infection area namely Sabah before being screened and was found positive for Covid-19 on Oct 6.

“They are also the close contact to Case 730 who was also infected by Case 719,” it said in a statement.

It added that the children, whose ages range from 7 to 14, are siblings and are the offsprings of Case 719 and Case 730.

“The exposure time for these cases is between Oct 2 to 6 when Case 719 was undergoing his quarantine at home.

“The first RT-PCR test was conducted on Oct 6 and all four cases were found to be negative of Covid-19 on Oct 8. They were then admitted to a quarantine centre to undergo the remaining 14-day quarantine order where it was found that three new cases were detected during the first screening on Oct 8.

“These cases were screened a second time on Oct 16 and their RT-PCR test results turned up positive today,” it said, adding that all four cases are asymptomatic and have been admitted to Sarawak General Hospital (SGH) for further treatment.

On Case 768, SDMC said it involved a local man who works as a private technician at a government hospital in Kuching.

“The case had a fever and cold on Oct 15 and underwent Covid-19 screening at a government clinic on Oct 16 where his result turned up positive the next day (Oct 17).

“This case, who was detected through symptomatic individual screening activities, has no history of traveling abroad nor visited high-risk Covid-19 infection areas,” it said, adding that Case 768 also did not have any contact with Covid-19 positive cases.

It also said the patient has been admitted to the isolation ward at SGH for further treatment.

“The case is still under investigation to determine the true cause of the infection. Contact tracing for this case is also underway.

“Until the cause of infection of this case is known, this case will be categorised as a local infection case based on his early history of movement,” it said.

On active clusters in the state, the committee said cases under the Bah Arnab Cluster has now increased following the four new positive cases reported today.

“Up to Oct 18, a total of 40 individuals have been screened where 12 cases were found positive of Covid-19. Eight of these cases were detected through the second screening on day ten of the quarantine,” it said, adding that the remaining 28 individuals tested negative.

It said the other active cluster in Sarawak was the Putra Cluster in Bintulu with six positive cases reported including the index case.

“Up to Oct 17, a total of 190 individuals have been screened where six cases were found positive and 183 individuals had tested negative,” it said.

Meanwhile, SDMC said a Covid-19 patient had recovered today and was allowed to be discharged from Sibu Hospital.

“This brings the total number of recoveries in the state to 701 or 91.28 per cent out of the overall cases,” it said.

It added that there are 48 patients currently being treated at hospitals throughout the state of which 32 are treated at SGH, eight at Miri Hospital, seven at Bintulu Hospital and one at Sibu Hospital.

On the number of person under investigation (PUI), the committee said ten new cases were recorded today with two cases pending lab test result.

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

Kuching, Sibu, Bintulu and Lubok Antu districts remain as yellow zones in state with 36 other districts classified as green zones.