KOTA KINABALU: Food rations are being sent to islanders affected by the movement control order (MCO) irrespective of their nationality, says Datuk Jaujan Sambakong.
The Deputy Chief Minister said many living in the islands off Sabah's east coast Semporna were not allowed to leave the island during the MCO and needed basic assistance.
"We are helping the people there.
"On humanitarian grounds, we help everyone, not only locals," he said when asked if assistance was being provided to the stateless, refugees and migrants on these islands.
Jaujan said thousands of villagers in kampungs spread all over east coast Semporna were no longer allowed to leave their respective islands to come to the mainland to buy essentials or trade during the MCO.
Amid concerns of a possible outbreak of the disease among the islanders, he said all necessary assistance would be channelled directly to the islands by various authorities as the situation warranted.
On the large community of Pulau Gaya off the city here, Tanjung Aru assemblyman Datuk Junz Wong said efforts were underway to send in basic supplies after authorities cut off movement from the island after positive cases of Covid-19 were detected.
"We are organising food supplies for my Tg Aru constituents, especially for Pulau Gaya as a travel ban has been imposed there.
"I have prepared a Covid-19 package too for my Tg Aru constituency that aims to provide food supplies to all family households in Tg Aru," said Wong, who is the state Agriculture and Food Industry Minister.
He said some 6,000 affected people will be given essential food supplies such as biscuits, coffee powder, flour, cooking oil, sugar, rice, bottle water, instant noodles and were being delivered to their housing estates and kampung since Tuesday.
"We expect by next week, all groups in the constituency will receive Covid-19 packages," he said, adding that the package included contingency funds to cater for other needs like milk powder for families with babies.
They also hope to deliver face mask and sanitisers once stocks arrive.