A Covid-19 variant of concern (VOC) is believed to have spread widely in the local community, owing to the spike in positive cases over the past few days, says Labuan health department director Dr Ismuni Bohari.
“In Labuan, we believe we already have a variant of concern (B.1.617.2/Delta), as we can see that Covid-19 is spreading wider now in our community.
“It was one of the reasons for the massive surge in cases. The symptoms are severe after getting infected with the Delta strain,” he told Bernama today.
Ismuni said the rapid movement of people during the Hari Raya celebration had also led to a wider spread of infection.
“We have also identified a large family group living in a cramped and congested house which caused the spread of the virus among the family members, and that has led to difficulties in stabilising the cases.
“Looking at the trend of Covid-19 cases, we are moving towards a plateau with three digits of positive cases reported over the past few days,” he added.
Ismuni said as the Delta strain has been found to have a higher infection rate, the situation needs to be taken seriously by the local community. He said if the SOPs continue to be violated, it will be more difficult to curb the pandemic on the island.
He said a number of companies in the essential services sector had to be temporarily closed for sanitisation after several positive cases were detected among their employees.
“Mass screening (active case detection) is being conducted from 800 to 2,000 samples with the help of private clinics,” he said.
He said Labuan recorded 191 cases on Tuesday including seven new deaths, partly attributed to four active clusters, namely Patau-Patau (23 cases), Simpang Sahari (16), Simpang Sungai (seven) and Victoria Merdeka (12).
He said there were also 62 cases from close contact screening and 51 from symptomatic screening while the rest involved goods transporters from mainland Sabah and individuals under self-quarantine.
Today, Labuan recorded 200 new cases, bringing the cumulative total to 5,352.