Restrictions in four districts

PUTRAJAYA: The high number of Covid-19 positive infections recorded in four towns in eastern Sabah has prompted authorities to enforce targeted enhanced movement control order in Lahad Datu, Tawau, Kunak and Semporna beginning today until Oct 12.

Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said between Sept 1 and 27, the health authorities recorded 1,195 positive cases in the four districts.

Tawau recorded 634 cases, Semporna (255), Lahad Datu (241) and Kunak (65).

“Looking at the numbers, the government, on advice from the Health Minister, has decided to implement the targeted enhanced MCO in these areas, with effect from midnight tonight until Oct 12.

“The implementation of the order will help curb the spread and infection of Covid-19 in the affected areas.

“It will also allow authorities to trace and identify cases more effectively during the 14 days that the order is enforced,” he added.

This latest order, which came just days after Sabah concluded its state election, will involve 962,661 residents in the four districts.

Ismail Sabri said that during the targeted enhanced MCO, residents will not be allowed to leave the area.

“Non-residents and visitors will not be allowed into the four districts during this time.

“All business activities will be stopped, with the exception of shops providing essential services and goods,” he said.

A medical base will be set up and all entry and exit passengers will be closed.

Ismail Sabri said to ensure that the order was followed, the police, Armed Forces, Civil Defence, Rela and local authorities would be given the authority to control these districts.

“We urge the public to remain calm and to give full cooperation to health authorities and to follow orders issued by the authorities,” he said.

On another matter, an individual who violated home quarantine order was among 661 people who were nabbed for various violations under the recovery movement control order.

Ismail Sabri said the majority of those arrested on Sunday – 577 of them – were involved in pub and nightclub activities.

Police also rounded up individuals who failed to comply with the standard operating procedure including not putting on face masks (30), for not practising physical distancing (42), failure to provide log-in facilities for customers (eight) as well as operating beyond permitted hours (three).“As for Ops Benteng, police arrested 40 illegal immigrants, five tekong and a human trafficker during the operation on Sunday,” he added.

The authorities also conducted 81 roadblocks nationwide to check on smuggling of illegal immigrants into the country.

Ismail Sabri said since July 24, a total of 35,344 individuals had returned to the country and were sent to undergo quarantine and designated stations, including at 66 hotels nationwide.

Currently, 8,235 were undergoing quarantine, while 28,006 were allowed to go home.

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