Cooperate to stop Covid-19 from spreading, Sabah Health Department tells public

  • Nation
  • Sunday, 15 Mar 2020

Datuk Dr Christina Rundi. -filepic

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Health Department is calling for full cooperation from the public as some of their officers on the ground have faced resistance by those who might have contracted or been exposed to Covid-19.

State health director Datuk Dr Christina Rundi said that they had received several complaints from their officers that some members of the public were resisting efforts by the department to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

"We have received reports of bad behaviour by certain quarters towards those suspected to have contracted or have tested positive for Covid-19.

"We hope that such behaviour is stopped immediately, as this may cause those with symptoms not to come forward and get tested and further complicate our efforts to stop the spread of the virus," Dr Rundi said in a statement here late Saturday (March 14).

As of Saturday, Sabah continued to see an increase in numbers of Covid-19 positive cases with the Health Ministry disclosing a total of 26 cases state-wide and two in Labuan.

Dr Rundi said the state Health Department was continuously tracing people who may have come into close contact with those infected.

She said that all hospitals in the state have been set up with a temperature-screening centre to allow for those with any travel history or flu-like symptoms to be examined.

They have also opened Covid-19 wards at six specialist hospitals in the state.

She said these were Queen Elizabeth Hospital and Sabah Women's and Children's Hospital in Kota Kinabalu, Duchess of Kent Hospital in Sandakan, Tawau Hospital, Lahad Datu Hospital and Keningau Hospital.

They have also postponed all elective surgeries at the hospitals with only emergency surgeries allowed in one of the measures to reduce the patient load and prevent the spread of the virus.

Dr Rundi said that blood donations will continue but would be limited to not more than 50 people at any one time.

"We hope blood donors would continue to come forward as we do not want our blood bank to run out of blood.

"We need public understanding on this matter," she said, adding that they would also be restricting visitors to hospitals.

She urged the public to be proactive by observing high levels of self-hygiene, avoid crowds, avoid close contacts like shaking hands and obtain necessary correct information from the Health Ministry's website

Most of the Sabah Covid-19 cases were detected among a group of Sabahans who attended a tabligh gathering at the Seri Petaling Mosque in Kuala Lumpur between Feb 29 and March 1.

The first positive case was detected in Tawau on Thursday (March 12) and has since climbed to 26 as of Saturday with 11 new cases disclosed.

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