Associate Professor Dr Jane Labadin and her team have recently provided the current COVID-19 model simulations to various divisions in Sarawak as well as to the Sarawak Disaster Management Committee. In her recent report, she highlighted the importance of self-precautionary measures taken by every individual. Denoting this as “kappa”, κ in her model, she has shown how sensitive this value is to the daily total active cases.
The model has shown that every after festive dates, the number of active cases increases resulting in value drop of κ. Based on the simulations done for Sarawak COVID-19 data, the κ currently found was as low as 0.2 indicating a mere 20% of the exposed population that comply to the SOP and the rest did not. Now that the virus is known to be in the community then this means those individuals that go out for errands and visitations are considered exposed. Therefore, it is important for the population to adhere to the practising of hand-hygiene, use of face masks, and any other forms of individual effective precautionary measures such as avoiding crowded places and so on.
Figure 1: Simulations of the daily total active cases with various value of κ representing the population compliance of the SOP
(Source: Labadin, J. and Hong, B.H. (2021), “Sarawak COVID-19: Effects of Gathering”. COVID-MYSim https://fcsit.shinyapps.io/covid-19_mal/)
In order to curb the rising number of the daily total active cases this value of κ need to increase to at least 0.35 or more, which means the need of more than 35% of the population to adhere to the SOP. As the effect of the Raya celebration is still being felt now and coinciding with the start of Gawai celebration, it is thus expected that it may greatly affect the number of cases.
Evidently, the role played by everyone in the population is very important as it directly affects the value of the parameter κ in the model.
AP Dr Jane ended her report by recommending that everyone must adhere to the SOP and perhaps would be best to avoid visitations during the celebration.