KUCHING, Feb 25: Chinese New Year gatherings caused a surge in Covid-19 cases in Kuching and Samarahan.

Sarawak local government and housing minister Dr Sim Kui Hian said contact tracing over the past two weeks had indicated that social gatherings at bistros, restaurants and private residences in conjunction with the festival was the main factor for new cases reported recently.

“Tomorrow (Friday) is Chap Goh Mei, which is also the last day of Chinese New Year.

“It will be another hotbed event for Covid-19 transmissions to occur. Hence, it is important to continue to follow the standard operating procedures strictly,” he wrote on his Facebook page.

Sim said every ethnic group is at risk as positive cases have been found repeatedly in sociocultural events associated with large gatherings.

Yesterday, Sarawak reported a record 353 Covid-19 cases, breaching the 300 figure for the first time since the start of the pandemic, with 25 active clusters. The previous highest daily figure was 229 on Jan 22.

Sim also advised those feeling unwell not to go to work because of the increase in workplace-related clusters in the country.

He said employers should be encouraged to allow their workers to be absent from work and make sure they go for swabs.

This is how they can protect their workplace and avoid disruption in their work operations, he said.


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