Sabah will proceed with inoculating teenagers despite the vaccination rate among its adult population still being below 80 per cent.
Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor said the vaccinations would start tomorrow for those aged between 12 and 17.
He said the matter was decided at the cabinet meeting here today.
"This was also in line with the Health Ministry's stand to get as many adolescents in the high-risk group to be vaccinated. It is also in anticipation of the reopening of schools starting Oct 3," he said in a statement.
Enforcement of the standard operating procedures (SOPs) requiring employees and customers in the trade and distribution sectors, restaurants and supermarkets to be fully vaccinated in order to enter the premises will be deferred to September 21, when Sabah achieves its target of vaccinating 60 per cent of the adult population.
Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Masidi Manjun said the SOP was initially announced to take effect after September 15.
However, he said only 52 per cent of the adult population in Sabah were vaccinated as of Sunday.
Sabah's daily Covid-19 cases dipped for the fourth time this month to below 2,000 daily cases.
State Covid-19 spokesman Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun said that the state recorded 1,717 cases with Kota Kinabalu seeing a significant drop.
The state has been seeing an average of over 2,000 cases daily in August and saw numbers drop below 2,000 for three days from Sept 4 to 6. But, it again went up to above 2,000 cases over the last five days.
The state capital recorded a jump from 302 cases previously to 449 cases on Saturday (Sept 11) due to new infections among detainees at the Immigration detention depot here.
State Covid-19 spokesperson Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun in a statement said 134 new cases were recorded from the depot in Kota Kinabalu.
“There were 153 new Covid-19 cases involving detainees across the state today,” he added.
In general, Masidi said Sabah’s cases on Saturday show a marginal drop with yesterday’s figure, registering 2,163 infections, compared to 2,246 on Friday (Sept 10).
A total of 2,593 school-going children aged 16 and 17 in the duty-free island here have begun to receive Covid-19 vaccine today in preparation for school reopening on Oct 3.
Labuan Health Department director Dr Ismuni Bohari said the vaccination exercise would be implemented at the two existing vaccination centres (PPVs) at the hall of Kompleks Darul Kifayah and Labuan Matriculation College (LMC).
"As we are moving towards 100 per cent population herd immunity against Covid-19, we must not let school-going children to be left out in the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (PICK).
"This is also our efforts to mitigate the possible spread of Covid-19 among students and teachers in schools due to reopen next month," he told Bernama today.
Police have launched a hunt for three Covid-19 positive male detainees who escaped from the Quarantine and Low-risk Treatment Centre (PKRC) at Dewan Arena here early today.
Tawau district police chief ACP Puter Umbuas said two detainees, Niko Matheus, 25, and Hashim Muhamad Syata, 34, are Indonesians while the third is a 23-year-old Filipino, Jimnajir Anoor.
The trio fled at 12.30am, he said.
Sabah hospitals are looking into converting more wards to treat Covid-19 patients if there is a spike in the number of infections in the state.
State Community Development and People's Wellbeing Minister Shahelmey Yahya said to date, 70 per cent of the ventilators and intensive care unit (ICU) beds have been utilised by Covid-19 patients, with a remainder of 30 per cent capacity.
There are two major hospitals in Kota Kinabalu, and others in Tawau, Sandakan, Lahad Datu and Keningau which are equipped with ICU beds and ventilators.
The Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) came to aid of the Sabah National Security Council (NSC) when it flew 99,400 doses of the Covid-19 vaccine from Sarawak to Tawau, Sabah.
In a statement today, RMAF said the Comirnaty (Pfizer-BioNTech) vaccine doses were loaned from the Sarawak government from three locations namely Kuching, Sibu and Bintulu.
The transfer was one of the Sabah government’s efforts to accelerate the vaccination of Sabahans to achieve its 80% herd immunity target by October.
Sabah received the first batch of the single-dose CanSino Covid-19 vaccine on Tuesday (Aug 24), says state Health director Dr Rose Nani Mudin.
She said 53,000 doses arrived here, with more vaccines expected to arrive later this month.
Last week, Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor said the CanSino vaccine doses are expected to arrive in stages, as Sabah has previously requested 1.8 million doses from the Federal Government.
He said combined with Pfizer and Sinovac vaccines, the state is expected to receive over 500,000 vaccine doses this week.
Sabah’s Covid-19 cases continue to rise, with 2,738 new infections and 17 deaths recorded on Friday (Aug 20).
Minister in charge of Covid-19 matters in the state, Datuk Masidi Manjun said over 59% of these cases are due to close contact screenings from existing cases, while quite a number are also backlog cases.
He said Kota Kinabalu remained the district with the highest number of Covid-19 cases at 454 followed by Penampang (328), Sandakan (236), Tuaran (235), Tawau (225), Sipitang (181), Papar (138) and Putatan (104).
Sabah reported its third consecutive all-time high of daily Covid-19 cases today.
Sabah Covid-19 spokesman Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun announced that there were 2,582 new cases as of today, up from yesterday’s 2,413.
The day before, it recorded 2,103 cases. The state has breached the 2,000-case mark only four times, but all were in this month.
Sabah’s daily Covid-19 case numbers continue to increase, registering a new high of 1,379 on Sunday (Aug 8).
State Local Government and Housing Minister and Covid-19 spokesman Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun said Kota Kinabalu reported 351 new cases, 110 more than the 241 recorded on Saturday (Aug 7).
Also seeing an increase in daily cases were Tawau (160 cases), Tuaran (152) and Penampang (113).