Sabah ministers call for more funding from Federal Govt to fight Covid-19

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah needs more allocations to fight against the Covid-19 pandemic and to help those affected by it, say state ministers.

Deputy Chief Minister II Datuk Seri Dr Jeffrey Kitingan said due to the worsening Covid-19 situation in Sabah, it is clear that more funding is needed to fight the pandemic.

“Our healthcare workers need help, our facilities need help, the rakyat too need help, ” he said when contacted.

He urged the Federal Government to take all these into consideration and allocate more funds to Sabah in its budget scheduled to be announced soon.

Jeffrey, who is also Agriculture and Fisheries minister said the additional funds can be used to get more Covid-19 test kits, employ more people to conduct tests and screenings and upgrade if not add on for related facilities among others.

“We also need money to prepare more food baskets for the needy, as this conditional movement control order (MCO) and pandemic is likely to go on for quite some time, ” he said.

He said he hopes every state constituency can get at least RM500,000 for food basket distribution to the most affected groups among other allocations.

In thanking the federal Health Ministry for sending more healthcare personnel to help out in Sabah, he said there is no doubt more manpower, especially skilled health personnel, is needed as well.

Deputy Chief Minister I Datuk Bung Moktar Radin said it is compulsory for the Federal Government to allocate more funding for Sabah’s healthcare and send more help in terms of manpower with the Covid-19 situation currently.

“Other than that, we also need more allocation for other industries and sectors in Sabah, because we need all the help we can get to recover from this pandemic and its economic effects, ” he said.

He said he hopes that the Federal Government would put all these factors into consideration when tabling the Budget.

Bung, who is also state Public Works minister said a long term financial plan and measure must be put in place to sustain the operations in Sabah.

“In our part as the rakyat, we must make sure we adhere strictly to SOPs if we want to break the chain of virus transmission, ” he said, adding the people should have gotten used to the new norms by now.

The Federal Government has deployed over 500 medical and public health personnel of various categories and service schemes to several districts in Sabah earlier this month.

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