Fearing for families’ safety, Sabahan students opt for quarantine centre instead of home

  • Nation
  • Monday, 04 May 2020

KOTA KINABALU: Some of the 7,000 Sabahan students returning from Peninsular Malaysia and Sarawak have volunteered to undergo quarantine at the designated centres to avoid any risk of exposing their families to the Covid-19 virus.

Sabah Health Department director Datuk Christina Rundi (pic) said the students were aware of the possible risks they posed and voluntarily wanted to stay at the centres instead of going back to their hometowns.

This was despite the Sabah government’s decision to allow students to go home and practise home quarantine.

"These students fully understand the risks they could pose to their family members. We appreciate their willingness to undergo the quarantine," Dr Rundi said in a statement Monday (May 4).

Dr Rundi, however, did not indicate how many students had volunteered for the two-week quarantine at the centres.

Since late last week, hundreds of students began returning to the state from Sarawak and the peninsula, which also raised fresh concerns over the conditions of some of the quarantine centres here and in Tawau.

Some families also complained that the returning students had to wait nearly five hours at the airport to be taken to the quarantine centres without any food given during buka puasa time.

These events prompted the state government under Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal to exempt students from undergoing the mandatory two-week quarantine on May 2.

They were instead allowed to carry out home quarantine at their own homes but subject to medical evaluation.

Dr Rundi reiterated on Monday that all students under home quarantine should adhere to the rules and warned that if they disobeyed they would be placed at designated quarantine centres.

They could also face charges under Section 24 of the Prevention and Control of Infectious Disease Act 1988 for ignoring the rules for Home Quarantine.

She said steps were taken to ensure the students’ movements to their hometowns were managed responsibility and properly.

Sabah, so far, has 316 positive Covid-19 cases with four deaths recorded.

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