KUCHING, Sept 8 ― Sarawakians do not have to be unduly worried about the high number of Covid-19 cases in the state over the past three days, Chief Minister Datuk Abang Johari Openg said today.
He pointed out that 99 per cent of the total people infected had no symptoms or mild ones.
“I wish to stress here that if we do not have any vaccination being carried out much earlier, the situation might be different,” he told reporters after witnessing students from SMK Sri Matang receiving their first dose of Pfizer vaccine at Kampung Telaga Air Health Clinic.
“We have to understand that once people have been vaccinated, they have the power to fight back through vaccination.
“What we have today are mild Covid-19 infections, with a minor cough but not serious,” he added.
Abang Johari said Covid-19 will one day become an endemic disease like cholera, which means people will have to live with it.
Abang Johari said about 88.9 per cent of the eligible population in Sarawak, aged 18 years and above, have received the first dose and 65.1 per cent for the second dose.
He said the percentage will be higher after those aged 12 to 17 have been fully vaccinated.
Abang Johari’s remarks today echo that of Sarawak Disaster Management Committee adviser Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian.
Dr Sim said there was no need to live in fear because of the high infection rate as the recovery rate for Category 1 and 2 Covid-19 patients in Sarawak is 99 per cent.
“Even though we are living with the virus, we still view it seriously. We do need to stay alert but need not be gripped by panic every day upon seeing the daily case numbers,” he wrote on his Facebook page last night.
Dr Sim, who is also the state local government and housing minister, described the situation in Sarawak now as post-vaccination.
“We need to know what daily figures to read to make sense of it because for different stages of a disease, there are different figures to look at,” he said.
He said Sarawak with 3,200 positive cases reported yesterday and seven deaths, while Malaka with 448 cases with 10 deaths, Kuala Lumpur with 631 with 10 deaths, Perak 1,197 cases and 20 deaths, Kelantan 1,458 cases and 14 deaths, Kedah 1,487 cases and 43 deaths, Penang 1,776 cases and 34 deaths, Sabah 2,107 cases and 45 deaths, Johor 2,174 cases and 53 deaths and Selangor with 2,407 cases and 55 deaths.
“Having said that, each of us still need to play our roles and do our part seriously, to slow down local transmission so that the sheer number of positive cases would not drain our healthcare resources, especially the availability of intensive care unit (ICU) beds,” Dr Sim added.