KUCHING (Aug 3): Sarawak recorded its third consecutive day of zero positive Covid-19 cases today, bringing the total number of positive cases in the state to 678, said the State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC).

The secretariat in a statement also brought some good news amid the bleak reality of the Covid-19 pandemic where five patients have recovered and were allowed to be discharged from the Sarawak General Hospital (SGH) today.

“This brings the total number of recoveries to 599 or 88.35 per cent out of the overall cases,” it said.

However, it also pointed out that ten Covid-19 clusters remain active in the state namely the Engineering Company Cluster which still has eight cases; Mambong Cluster (seven); Medical Centre Cluster (three); Jupiter Cluster (three); Stutong Market Cluster (seven); Kuching Jetty Cluster (two); Sentosa Cluster (31); Melbourne PUI Cluster (three); Kuching Construction Company Cluster (two); and Satok Market Cluster (four).

“Currently, 60 patients are still being treated at isolation wards and the death toll in Sarawak remains unchanged at 19 or 2.8 per cent of total cases,” it said.

On the number of person under investigation (PUI), SDMC said 15 new cases were recorded today with no cases pending lab test results.

Meanwhile, SDMC said random screenings have been carried out at various identified areas throughout Sarawak including the Covid-19 Influenza-Like Illness (ILI) Sentinel Clinics.

“To date, a total of 22 health facilities identified throughout the state have taken a total of 1,615 samples for Covid-19 tests among ILI cases from April to August this year.

“Of that figure, one positive sample was detected in Sibu in April 2020 while 1,571 samples turned up negative and 43 samples are still awaiting lab test results,” it said.

It also said five Ministry of Health health clinics in Kuching division were identified to conduct surveillance respiratory symptoms starting July 20 where 91 samples taken for Covid-19 (RT-PCR) tests all turned up negative.

Random sampling at point of entry (POE) was also carried out of which 1,642 samples taken at random at main entry point of Sarawak, said the secretariat.

“Of the total, four were positive, 1629 were negative while nine samples are still pending lab test results,” it added.

On surveillance at markets, it said 1,327 samples were taken at eight markets in Kuching and Sibu namely the Stutong Community Market, Medan Niaga Satok, Kota Sentosa Market, Kota Padawan Market, Sungai Maong Market, Third Mile Market, Penjaja Centre Market Sibu and Sibujaya Market.

Out of the samples, 11 tests turned up positive, 1,082 were negative and 234 are still pending lab test results.

For surveillance on construction sites, SDMC said random screening tests were conducted at 148 construction sites located in Kota Samarahan division (10), Serian (three), Sri Aman (four), Betong (seven), Sarikei (four), Sibu (four), Kapit (four), Mukah (15), Bintulu (33), Miri (59) and Limbang (five).

“A total of 1,341 samples for the Covid-19 (RT-PCR) test were taken and of the total sample, 974 samples were from Malaysians and 367 samples were from foreigners with permits.

“The results of this screening found one positive sample from the construction site in Samarahan Division, 1,267 negative samples and 73 samples which are still pending lab test results comprising 49 samples from Malaysians and 24 from foreigners,” it said.

Random screenings were also carried out at 23 plantations located in Lundu (seven), Sri Aman (four) and Betong (nine) of which 148 samples taken were from Malaysians and 125 samples were from foreigners with permits.

“Out of the total, 230 samples turned up negative while another 43 samples are pending lab test results,” said SDMC.