Inter-district travel curbs still in force in Sabah, says Hajiji


KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah government’s decision to maintain inter-district travel restriction is due to the continuing spike in new Covid-19 cases in the state, said Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor.

The Chief Minister said that despite efforts by the authorities to impose enhanced movement control order (MCO) at affected localities among others, the numbers continued to rise with Thursday breaching 2,000 cases.

“Therefore roadblocks will continue to be mounted because inter-district travel is still not allowed. The people must strictly observe this standard operating procedure (SOP),” he said after his working visit to the northern Kudat district.

Last Sunday, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced the relaxation of SOP in states under Phase Two of the National Recovery Plan (NRP) that includes allowing inter-district travel for those who have been fully vaccinated.

Sabah’s NRP Phase Two SOP updated on Aug 12, however, states that inter-district travel restriction is still in force except for emergency cases, work (supported by letters from employers), Covid-19 vaccination appointments and those in the essential service sectors.

The updated SOP for Sabah also states that police permission is required for movements across districts for emergency cases, married couples in two different districts, and parents wishing to see their children aged below 18.

In this respect, Hajiji said among the measures to combat Covid-19 was to push forward the vaccination drive to reach as many people as possible apart from ensuring SOP was adhered to at all times.

“We urge the people to refrain from holding gatherings that will involve many people for the time being. We want the people to be more disciplined. Only through this way can we flatten the curve,” he said.

According to the Chief Minister, Sabah will be getting 200,000 doses of the single-dose CanSino vaccine next week following an assurance from Khairy Jamaluddin.

The minister in charge of the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme has assured Sabah that it would get priority on the CanSino vaccine supply.

Arrival of the single-dose vaccine will help to boost the vaccination numbers needed to reach herd immunity.

To date, 1,227,628 or 44.5% of the state’s population above 18 years old have received the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.

During his visit, Hajiji went to the Dewan Tun Mustapha vaccine administration centre (PPV) where he met with the frontliners and observed the vaccination process.

In fresh SOP released on Thursday, the state government has adopted the federal SOP for fully vaccinated operators of eateries, their workers and customers only for dine-ins.

It also allows hotels to open for domestic tourism but limits it to only customers from the same districts and those involved in the travel bubble.

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