Masidi: Spike in Sabah due to clusters, not variants


KOTA KINABALU: Sabah’s sudden spike in cases was due to many clusters, and nothing to do with any variant of concern (VOC), says state Covid-19 spokesman Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun (pic).

“For Sabah, it’s the normal Covid-19 variant, but there are just too many clusters,” Masidi said when commenting on the high infectivity rate in Sabah that saw the RO at 1.25.“Our targeted approach is to nip the problem in the bud by immediately trying to control the spread of the infection via imposing localised enhanced movement control order (MCO),” he said in explaining the reason why Sabah was seeing higher numbers of cases over the last four-days - doubling from the daily 300 cases to over 600.

“Our numbers are high due to the localities and clusters in such areas. The prison clusters (Kepayan in Kota Kinabalu and Tawau) have pushed Sabah’s statistics over the last four days to abnormally high figures,” added Masidi, who is state Local Government and Housing Minister.

Masidi said that he believed steps were being taken by the prison authorities and the state Health Department to control the situation within the prisons.

“I believe the prison authority is trying its best to manage the pandemic with the assistance of Sabah Health Department,” he said when asked if the situation at the prisons in Kepayan and the east coast Tawau prison was under control.

Masidi said that the Sabah figures dropped to 474 yesterday from 657 recorded on Tuesday.

The drop in numbers was reflected in the fewer cases reported from the prisons, he said, explaining that eight positive cases came from the Tawau prison.

“We have a drop of about 183 cases, and this is because there were fewer new positive cases from the prison clusters,” he said.

As of Wednesday, Kota Kinabalu recorded 128 new cases followed by Beaufort (76), Tawau (36), Keningau (24) Ranau (22), Tuaran and Sipitang (19 each), while Putatan (18) and Beluran (15), Kudat (14) and Kota Belud (12) were mainly from existing clusters.

Separately, deputy Sabah chief minister Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin said the Federal Government and the Covid-19 Vaccine Supply Access Guarantee Special Committee (JKJAV) should expedite the delivery of vaccines to Sabah.

Bung Moktar said based on the special committee’s data, vaccine recipients for the first and second doses in this state were lower than other states.

In a statement yesterday, he said despite Sabah’s various measures such as opening more vaccine administration centres and mobile outreach programmes in remote areas, the vaccination target would be hard to achieve with insufficient vaccines.“As a concerned elected representative in Sabah, we want to ensure immunisation can be extended to more people. The health and welfare of Sabahans must be given priority.

“This can no longer be delayed as we are facing a more dangerous threat of Covid-19 with new and more transmissible variants. We need to reach herd immunity,” he said.Bung Moktar, who is also state Works Minister, also called for more initiatives to encourage more people to register for vaccination as the MySejahtera app alone was insufficient.

He suggests that registration via walk-in and drive-through be considered for Sabah folk, especially those in rural areas.

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