Hajiji calls for strict SOP compliance as Sabah cases double

Inside looking out: Covid-19 patients peeking outside from a quarantine centre at the Sandakan sports complex. The centre was reopened following the rise in cases in the area. — Bernama

KOTA KINABALU: Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor has appealed to Sabahans to strictly follow the standard operating procedures (SOP) to curb Covid-19 after cases more than doubled to over 1,000 from around 500 in the past month.

Sabah has the lowest vaccination rates at only 76.2% of the total adult population being fully inoculated, according to CovidNow. In contrast, the country’s total adult vaccination rate was at 97.9%.

“There is a need for everyone to strictly adhere to the SOP to avoid any further surge,” he said after attending the Gabungan Rakyat Sabah backbenchers retreat in northern Kudat yesterday.

In a tweet, Sabah Covid-19 spokesman Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun said the state recorded 1,285 cases yesterday after infection numbers dropped to below 500 over the past month.

“As predicted, new cases continue to shoot up and today, it’s 1,285 – 80 more cases than yesterday’s. High symptomatic/sporadic cases (47.5%) fuelling faster community transmission; expect higher number ahead,” he wrote.

He said out of the total cases, 1,276 or 99.3% were in Categories One and Two.

Five cases were reported in Category Three, three in Category Four and one in Category Five, added Masidi.

Meanwhile, Sabah DAP chairman Datuk Frankie Poon urged the state Education Department to defer the return of students to schools until the completion of the vaccination programme for children aged five to 11, which started on Feb 3.

“I urge the Education Ministry to defer the going back to school after all the schoolchildren have been fully vaccinated (for those who want it) or until statistics show there is less danger to these children,” he said.

He said as the state government had made it clear that there would be no more lockdowns due to the adverse economic impact, it would only make sense to prevent the spread of Covid-19 as much as possible.

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