KUCHING, Sarawakians have been urged to remain vigilant, and to take all necessary measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, ahead of Christmas tomorrow, said Deputy Premier Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas.

Uggah, who is also the state Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) chairman, said that December, which leads to the Christmas season, has unfortunately seen a resurgence in COVID-19 cases in the state.

He said according to monitoring experts, the rise in cases is due to the presence of the HK.3 and JN.1 sub-variants.

'Our positive cases have recorded an increase, to 631, from Dec 10 to 16. The week earlier there were 310 cases, which is an increase of 103.5 per cent.

'So, everyone please do be very cautious, especially the elderly, children and those with comorbidities. Do not let COVID-19 be the Grinch that will steal your Christmas joy. Practice the standard operating procedures to avoid both infection and transmission,' he said in his Christmas message here, today.

On Dec 21, Uggah was reported to have said that the Sarawak government allocated RM4.85 million, in preparation for a surge in COVID-19 cases in the state.

He said that the allocation is to assist the state Health Department in strengthening its ability to prepare and cope with the upward trend of COVID-19 cases.

The allocation among others is to be used for the construction of a field hospital in Kuching, and the purchase of Paxlovid antiviral drugs.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency