Quarantine still needed – director


KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Health director Datuk Dr Christina Rundi has emphasized the need for individuals with travel history abroad or within the country to be quarantined as 85 percent of the 293 novel coronavirus (Covid-19) patients analysized had shown no symptom of the disease at the initial stage.

She said these infected persons could potentially transmit the coronavirus to their close contacts without knowing.

Dr Rundi said the State Health Department had been asked a lot about the reason for Sabah to continue to enforce the 14-day quarantine for individuals who had a travel history to overseas or outside the State.

She said the department still detected Covid-19 cases among those who had a history of travelling to countries such as Thailand, Indonesia and the United Kingdom.

She said there were also Covid-19 cases among patients who had previously travelled to Peninsular Malaysia.

Hence, Dr Rundi said it was important for individuals who had a travel history outside the country or State to undergo quarantine.

“Of the 293 Covid-19 cases that have been analyzed, 249 cases or 85 percent did not show symptoms at the initial stage.

“This is worrying because they could potentially infect their close contacts unknowingly.

“Therefore, quarantine is crucial to break the chain of infection to ensure the virus do not spread to others in effort to curb the Covid-19 outbreak,” she said in a statement issued on Monday.

Meanwhile, Dr Rundi said two new positive cases were reported in Sabah on Monday (April 20), bringing the total to 308.

One of the cases was reported in Ranau, thereby increasing the cumulative case in the district to three.

Two of the previous Covid-19 cases were sporadic cases and both patients have recovered.

Another case was reported in Tuaran of which the cause of infection was still under investigation.

Dr Rundi also explained the discrepancy in the number of recoveries in Kinabatangan and Sandakan. She said there were patients who had completed their treatment in hospitals and reported as having recovered from the virus after two samples taken from the patients were tested negative.

However, she said follow-up tests on the patients turned out to be positive and thus they continued their treatment to ensure they had fully recovered.

“This is why the number of recoveries was less than the day before.”

For Tambunan district, she said two patients had recovered on April 19 but the report was only updated the following day.

On the other hand, Dr Rundi asserted that the viral messages on the list of villages with positive Covid-19 cases and persons under investigation (PUI) in Keningau, as well as the allegation that the tabligh cluster was the cause of the virus infection in Randagong, Ranau were fake.