Sabah takes extra measures in hot spots

  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 25 Mar 2020

KOTA KINABALU: Movement in Covid-19 “hot spots” in Sabah’s major towns is being curtailed, says Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal (pic).

He said several measures, including limiting the movement of people in certain areas of Kota Kinabalu, Tawau and Lahad Datu, were being implemented as the areas were seeing an increasing number of cases.

Other measures include asking certain plantations and factories in Lahad Datu and Kalabakan to shut down as well as stopping barter trade with the Philippines and Indonesia.

At least five plantations in Lahad Datu have been ordered to stop operation after cases were detected there.

Shafie said the movement of people from Pulau Gaya, which is a 10-minute boat ride from here, had been curtailed following the detection of cases there.

“Only those working in essential services are allowed to the mainland. Medical teams are carrying out checks on the people there, ” he said after chairing the state-level National Security Council meeting on Covid-19 yesterday.

As of noon yesterday, there were 171 positive cases, with most of them recorded in Lahad Datu, Kota Kinabalu and Tawau.

Shafie said most of the cases were connected to the tabligh gathering in Kuala Lumpur while the others involved a few from a group that returned from Thailand.

On Sabahans who returned from the cancelled tabligh gathering in Sulawesi, Indonesia, he said so far 17 had returned.

“Those who came back are being quarantined in Tawau and we will allow others to return via the proper sea route to Tawau. We don’t want them to use jalan tikus (illegal border crossing routes).

“The Indonesian side does not have quarantine facility and we will do it in Tawau, ” he said, adding that the tabligh participants who went to Sulawesi were mainly from Tawau, Beaufort and Papar.

“This quarantine is for the greater good of the people. We are not taking any punitive action but we want to ensure people who could be exposed to the virus are screened, ” he said.

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