KOTA KINABALU: A total of 58 Form Five and Form Six students in Sabah tested positive for Covid-19 on Sunday (Jan 24).
Minister in charge of Covid-19 affairs in the state, Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun said these students were tested prior to returning to hostels, and were close contacts of positive patients.
“They are all under quarantine in their respective districts comprising 10 in Sandakan, seven each in Lahad Datu and Semporna, six in Tawau, four each in Kalabakan, Kota Marudu and Kudat, three in Kinabatangan and Ranau respectively, two each in Telupid and Tongod, and one in Beaufort, ” he said during his daily briefing here, Monday (Jan 25).
He said these students will be sitting for the SPM and STPM exams this year.
Other cases also include one each in Keningau, Kota Belud, Kunak, Papar and Pitas.
Responding to a recent news report of a group of students being sent for quarantine after their teacher tested positive for Covid-19 in SMK Tulid, Sook, Masidi said these students have all been tested and placed under quarantine.
“So far, one teacher and a student tested positive, while 64 others are close contacts of these patients, ” he said
Initial investigations suggest that the positive cases contracted it outside the school and tested positive prior to returning to school hostels.
Masidi said these cases were detected early and the two victims down with Covid-19 have been quickly separated from the public.
“Disinfection on the whole school has also been conducted, ” he said, adding that there was no need for the school to close.
“Classes for the SPM and STPM candidates commenced with strict SOPs, ” he said.
Masidi reminded all students and teachers to be aware of their health conditions, especially those who have returned to their hostels and are attending face-to-face classes.
Sabah, he said, recorded 348 new cases on Monday (Jan 25) out of which 251 or over 70% were close contacts of Covid-19 patients.
“Three deaths were recorded on Jan 25 with a new cluster detected from a shrimp farm in Tawau, ” he said.
Masidi said from the new cases recorded, it is clear that people still continue to disregard the advice to fully observe SOPs such as physical distancing and wearing face masks.
“From my observation, when I went to the city centre recently, I noticed some form of compliance, but many were still oblivious to the dangers of Covid-19 and not following SOPs in public, ” he said.
Asked if he expects a stricter SOP on Chinese New Year celebrations, Masidi said it was hard to say, and he could not speculate.
“I think the SOP will reflect the seriousness of these cases in our country and our efforts to curb the spread of the virus but at the same time, allow for some form of little celebration within households, ” Masidi said.