Sarawak agency says ritual on Gawai Eve behind 107-case Covid-19 outbreak in Kanowit

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The Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) said 107 out of 179 people in the Nanga Tada resettlement scheme screened for the disease have since been found positive while 70 tested negative. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri
The Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) said 107 out of 179 people in the Nanga Tada resettlement scheme screened for the disease have since been found positive while 70 tested negative. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

KUCHING, June 23 — An offering ceremony called miring on May 31, the eve of the Gawai Dayak festival, was the spark that led to a Covid-19 outbreak affecting three longhouses in Kanowit, Sarawak.

The Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) said 107 out of 179 people in the Nanga Tada resettlement scheme screened for the disease have since been found positive while 70 tested negative. The lab test results for two others are still pending.

“The positive cases have been admitted for treatment and isolation at Sibu Hospital, Kanowit Hospital and low-risk quarantine and treatment centre (PKRC) in Kanowit,” SDMC said in a statement today.

It also disclosed that a funeral gathering at Sungai Kotak, Meradong, was responsible for another 34 cases who have since been sent for treatment at the Sarikei Hospital and PKRC in the Sarikei district.

Of the 101 people screened, 25 tested negative. The lab results of 42 others are still pending.

SDMC also recorded two new Covid-19 clusters in the state.

One is dubbed the Jalan Kuala Tatau Cluster in Bintulu Division, is responsible for 22 cases while the other is Tanjong Lelenggau in Pakan, Sarikei Division resulted in 52 cases.

Sarawak registered 577 new cases, 609 recoveries, and three new Covid-19 deaths today.

The youngest fatality was a 52-year old man from Selangau. The other two were a 74-year woman from Sarikei and an 80-year old man from Pakan. All three had comorbidities such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart complications.

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