LABUAN: A COVID-19 variant of concern (VOC) has spread widely in the local community, owing to the spike in positive cases over the past few days, said Labuan Health Department director Dr Ismuni Bohari.
“In Labuan, 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.
Dr Ismuni said the rapid movement of people during the Hari Raya celebration had led to the 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 case.
“Looking at the trend of COVID-19 positive cases, we are moving towards a plateau with three digits of positive cases reported the past few days,” he added.
Dr Ismuni said as the Delta strain was found to have a higher infection rate, the situation needed to be taken seriously by the local community, and if the standard operating procedure continued to be violated, it would be more difficult to curb the pandemic on the island.
He disclosed that a number of companies in the essential services sector had to be closed temporarily for sanitisation after several positive cases were detected among their employees.
“A mass screening (active case detection) is being conducted from 800 to 2,000 samples with the help of private clinics,” he said.
According to him, Labuan recorded 191 cases on Tuesday (including seven new deaths), partly attributed to four active clusters of Patau-Patau with 23 cases, Simpang Sahari (16), Simpang Sungai (seven) and Victoria Merdeka (12).
Also making up the total number were 62 cases from close contact screening, 51 through symptomatic screening and the rest involved goods transporters from mainland Sabah and individuals under self-quarantine.
Today, the financial-centre island recorded 200 new cases, bringing the cumulative number to 5,352.