Covid-19: 7, 000 samples to be taken within two weeks in Labuan

LABUAN (Oct 19): At least 7,000 samples are to be taken during two weeks of Covid-19 targeted screening on Labuan residents, following a spike in cases on the island.

Priority in the screening, which commenced last week, is given to close contacts of confirmed or probable Covid-19 patients and those residing in the cluster and high-risk areas.

Labuan Health Department director Dr Ismuni Bohari said: “The surge in Covid-19 cases in the next several days is rather expected, in view of the targeted screening on the population here.

"We have started this screening in Saguking where a new cluster has emerged, with at least 500 samples taken from the villagers there yesterday (Oct 18) in addition to over 100 samples taken several days ago, and we continue today.

"We are now on the lookout for new cases, and if we don't get cases during this exercise, it means we fail in our targeted screening. It is going to be an uneasy task as we have to penetrate the water villages with houses there connected by dilapidated wooden bridges but it has to be accomplished.”

Dr Ismuni said the next location for the targeted screening would be the water village of Kg Patau-Patau.

Labuan has been placed under a two-week conditional movement control order (CMCO) from Oct 17 to Oct 30, along with two other federal territories, namely Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya (from Oct 14).

Labuan, Malaysia’s international business and financial centre and oil and gas hub, has been recording daily increase in cases over the last one week, bringing the tally to 120 cases as of Sunday.

The duty-free-island is linked to four active clusters: Saguking with nine cases, Bah Bangat (11), Bah Bundle (19 cases including those spread in Johor) and Bah Layangan, which has spread to Rembau, Negeri Sembilan, recording a total of 13 cases (only one in Labuan).

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