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Saturday, October 31, 2020

Woman released from quarantine, only to be tested positive 4 days later


COVID-19 | A woman who failed to notify authorities that she had developed symptoms of Covid-19 while undergoing quarantine ended up being released only to be tested positive four days later.

According to the health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, investigations revealed the woman had completed a 14-day quarantine as required by authorities in Sarawak after she returned from Labuan earlier this month.

Both swab tests conducted on her to detect the coronavirus on the first day and 10th day of quarantine had returned negative results.

"As per the usual procedures, a test would be conducted on the first day (of the quarantine). And a second test was then done on the 10th day.

"Because both tests returned negative, she was released from quarantine on the 14th day. However, on the 18th day (after returning from Labuan), she got tested again after showing symptoms of the virus.

"Investigations revealed that the woman had actually started having symptoms since the 11th day, but she did not notify the authorities. She only came in when the symptoms worsened on the 18th day and got tested and she was confirmed positive," Noor Hisham told a press conference in Putrajaya today.

He was asked about the case after the Sarawak Disaster Management Committee yesterday classified it as an imported case, rather than a local infection in the state.

According to a statement by the committee on Friday, the housewife had arrived in Miri from Labuan on Oct 10 when she was given a swab test and ordered to undergo isolation which she had duly completed.

She was tested for the third time on Oct 27, for which the result came back positive on Oct 29.

Noor Hisham added that in most cases of travellers found positive, they were tested for the virus on the first day of quarantine.

However, 25 percent were only found positive when they got tested on the 13th day, which is the usual practice to ensure that every person under quarantine is free of Covid-19 before they can be released.

"If we look at the case of travellers, as of today, there are 1,181 positive cases involving this group in total.

"From this number, 75 percent were found positive on the first day, while 25 percent were found positive on the 13th day," he said.

When asked why the woman was tested on the 10th day instead of 13th, Noor Hisham said that there were cases where swab tests were done in advance due to time needed for the result to come back in time for the last day of quarantine. - Mkini

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