Sarawak Health Dept and Unimas Monitor Potential Covid-19 Surge

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Vigilance Heightened Amid New Wave in Singapore

Sarawak Health Dept and Unimas Monitor Potential Covid-19 Surge
Sarawak Health Dept and Unimas Monitor Potential Covid-19 Surge

KUCHING (May 22): The Sarawak Health Department and Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) are on high alert, closely monitoring the potential for a surge in Covid-19 infections within the state. This heightened vigilance follows a recent wave of cases reported in Singapore, according to Deputy Premier Datuk Amar Dr Sim Kui Hian.

Collaborative Efforts to Track Covid-19 Variants

The Sarawak Public Health, Housing and Local Government Minister emphasized the government’s continuous collaboration with Prof Dr David Perera of Unimas. Dr Perera, who spearheads the monitoring of emerging Covid-19 variants, plays a crucial role in these efforts.

“From time to time, Dr Perera will release his findings, and we are very fortunate because there are only a few centres in Malaysia that possess the capability to carry out monitoring of new variants through DNA sequencing,” Dr Sim noted. He also highlighted that the Sarawak government provides financial support to the university to facilitate this vital research.

Booster Vaccination and Current Monitoring Efforts

Addressing the booster vaccination rates in Sarawak, Dr Sim revealed that 5 percent of the population has received the fourth Covid-19 dose, while 90 percent have received the first three doses.

The Sarawak Health Department is also actively monitoring the current Covid-19 situation by analyzing recent hospital admissions and the number of patients requesting the Covid-19 oral antiviral pill, Paxlovid.

Enhanced Availability of Antiviral Medication

Dr Sim pointed out that the Sarawak government has procured additional Paxlovid pills since the beginning of the year. These pills are now available in public hospitals and clinics while the federal Health Ministry concludes negotiations for a new batch of the antiviral medication.

He mentioned that the cost of treatment for Paxlovid in the private sector ranges between RM3,000 and RM4,000.

No Immediate Travel Restrictions from Singapore

Despite the new wave of infections in Singapore, Dr Sim reassured that there are no plans to impose restrictions on visitors from Singapore. Sarawak remains open post-pandemic, with an emphasis on individual responsibility in maintaining personal hygiene and taking preventive measures if infected.

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