Sabah hospital lab worker being monitored for possible Covid-19 infection

Sabah has not recorded any confirmed Covid-19 case. (Bernama pic)

KOTA KINABALU: State Health and People’s Wellbeing Minister Frankie Poon has confirmed that a lab technologist with the hospital in Sabah’s Kudat northern district is being investigated for possible Covid-19 infection.

Poon said the woman, aged 35, has been placed under home quarantine as a person under investigation (PUI) for the next 14 days.

He was commenting on a Whatsapp text message of a report by the district police chief to his superiors, which has since gone viral, that a technologist at the Kudat hospital is suspected to have the coronavirus following her trip to South Korea recently.

The text said the woman had gone to South Korea for five days from Feb 15 with several friends and on returning, showed symptoms such as coughing, fever, flu, migraine and a sore throat.

She went for a check-up yesterday and was suspected of having contracted the virus.

“Hopefully by tomorrow morning, I would get the full report (on the woman’s test),” Poon said when contacted.

He, however, advised the public not to worry as the woman did not actually fulfil the criteria to be considered a suspect for Covid-19.

“Before a person is considered a suspect, he or she has to fit the criteria as determined by the health ministry. This includes travel to China.

“In this case, she did not go to China. All persons (with symptoms) who go to clinics or private hospitals will be screened through a set of questionnaires before the doctor concerned would decide whether to refer that person for testing,” he said.

Sabah has no confirmed case of Covid-19 so far.

Poon said that as of yesterday, there have been 68 PUIs, with 36 samples taken for testing, all of which came back negative.

The remaining 32 persons, he said, did not need further tests as they did not fulfil the criteria to be considered a suspect based on their answers to the questionnaire.