Covid-19: 1,600 in Pulau Gaya screened so far, three positive cases detected

  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 31 Mar 2020

KOTA KINABALU: Health officials last week screened 1,600 of Pulau Gaya's population of between 5,000 and 6,000, and detected three positive cases of Covid-19, says Sabah Health Department director Datuk Christina Rundi.

Health officers from Kota Kinabalu have been carrying out medical checks among the community since March 28.

The islanders are made up of a mix of mainly Filipino migrant communities who are naturalised Malaysians, as well as refugees, stateless people and illegal immigrants.

In a statement on Tuesday (March 31), Dr Rundi thanked the Kota Kinabalu health officers for their work and the National Security Council (NSC), police, army and Rela for their support.

The state government tightened movement of people from the island to the mainland four days ago.

Authorities have put in place a schedule for boat movements for the villagers and sent in food rations in an effort to reduce movement by the islanders who mainly serve as a labour source in the state capital.

Only those needing medical attention are allowed out, as police and marine police maintain a tight control along the waters of the island, which is about 10-minute's boat ride from the city’s central market jetty.

Sabah Police Commissioner Datuk Zaini Jass said that they had spoken to village heads in the villages to allow certain individuals to go to the mainland to buy rations needed by the people via scheduled movements.

The Pulau Gaya screening is among the measures being taken to check the spread of Covid-19 measures.

Dr Christina said that there were a total of 201 positive cases in Sabah as of Tuesday with most of the cases in Tawau, Lahad Datu and Kota Kinabalu.

She said a total of 23 quarantine centres were operating with 809 people being housed while another 6,538 people were under home quarantine.

On Monday (March 30), health officials stopped the operation of three water dispensing machines in Sandakan.

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