A mass active case detection (ACD) exercise has been extended to the Bebuloh Laut and Bebuloh Darat villages here to check the spread of Covid-19.
Labuan Health Department director Dr Ismuni Bohari, who led the operation which began at 7.30am today, said more than 300 house owners and their family members were asked to undergo tests using the Antigen Rapid Test Kit (RTK-Ag) at the village community halls.
Speaking to Bernama, Dr Ismuni said those who had undergone the test were given a quarantine wristband, which would be cut if their results turned out negative.
Social and economic activities including dine-in in restaurants, coffee shops and restaurants in hotel premises will be allowed in Sabah beginning tomorrow.
State Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor said the economic activities would also include barber shops and roadside stalls selling vegetables, fish and fruits.
He said the state government will follow the federal government in implementing Phase One of the National Recovery Plan tomorrow.
The implementation would follow most of the state Movement Control Order (MCO) 3.0 standard operating procedures (SOPs).
People in Kuala Penyu, Beaufort and Sipitang should be given priority to get the Covid-19 vaccine to achieve group immunity by mid-July.
Sabah human rights activist Datuk Patrick Sindu said the locations of the three districts, which are bordering Labuan, made locals susceptible to Covid-19 infections from the Federal Territory.
He said the move was necessary to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 Delta variant that led to a spike in cases and deaths on the duty-free island.
"That is why the government needs to ensure that these three districts achieve group immunity simultaneously with Labuan.
The Sabah government will ensure that no one, including those living in the interiors and rural areas in the state, is left behind in the Covid-19 vaccination exercise, said Chief Minister Datuk Hajiji Noor.
He said despite facing various challenges, especially in terms of logistics as well as efforts to increase understanding and acceptance of the Covid-19 vaccines, the state government would do its best to get as many Sabahans as possible vaccinated.
Hajiji said the vaccination programme in Long Pasia, here, through the Army Combat Medic Vaccination Programme’s Jiwa Murni outreach programme was an example of a good initiative that involved the cooperation of various stakeholders to ensure that all Sabahans have access to the vaccines.
Residents living in islands far from Semporna Town are best given a single-dose Covid-19 vaccine, which will help resolve logistics issues such as traveling time and cut down expenditure.
Semporna District Health Officer Dr Shameer Khan Sulaiman said he had suggested this in a meeting with Health Minister (Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba) and ministry officials recently.
“I asked that single doses be administered to the islanders as it is more suitable for them. I am confident that the MOH will understand the geographical constraints faced.
“So, the single-dose vaccine is very much needed as Semporna has many islands located far from the town such as Pulau Denawan and Pulau Omadal, “ he told Bernama.
Sabah Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin has again asked the federal government to channel the additional Sinovac vaccines donated by China to the state so it can keep up with the national Covid-19 vaccination programme.
The Sabah Umno chief said the state is behind the rest of the country in the percentage of population vaccinated, especially in its rural areas.
He added that Sinovac is more suitable to be used in rural areas due to easier storage conditions compared to the Pfizer brand.
“We still need more vaccines now that the programme is taking off around the state. We need to be ready so that the supply of vaccines is sufficient for the people, especially those in rural areas who are largely unvaccinated,” he said in a statement today.
Sabah is set to ramp up its vaccination programme, with the state government saying that it hopes to more than double the number of jabs administered by next month to 30,000 shots per day.
Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor said that with the addition of more Covid-19 vaccination centres (PPV), including private clinics and hospitals, the state aims to achieve herd immunity by year end.
“I am confident we have all the facilities and supply of vaccines. In July, we will be doubling our administration of the vaccine to 30,000 people a day.
Long queues outside supermarkets could be seen around Labuan as people continued panic buying before parts of the island go under total lockdown from 12.01am Wednesday (June 15).
"People were standing in queues from 6am, three hours ahead of our opening time. I've never ever seen it before in Labuan," said Jerry Teoh, who helps operate the family-owned Hap Huat Superstore.
"People are panic buying essentials. It has been chaotic for the last two days. Many of them are buying more than they need. Sometimes, we do try to control it," he said when contacted by phone on Monday (June 14).
Some parts of the duty-free-island of Labuan will go into a partial lockdown for all social and economic sectors from next Tuesday (June 15) to June 28, said the Labuan Natural Disaster Management Committee chairman Rithuan Ismail.
He said the 14-day partial lockdown will involve only eight localities including the town centre, Kampung Sungai Keling, Kampung Bukit Kalam, water village of Kg Patau-Patau, Taman Perumahan Mutiara Sg. Bedaun, Kampung Layang-Layangan, Kampung Durian Tunjong and Kampung Tanjung Aru.
Rithuan said the lockdown was approved by Labuan Natural Disaster Management Committee in a meeting today in view of the spike in Covid-19 cases over the last three weeks and food baskets would be distributed to residents in the affected areas next week.
Vaccination promotion in Sabah needs to be ramped-up aggressively following the poor inoculation rate in the East Malaysian state.
As of June 3, only 152,900 or 5.21 per cent of targeted vaccinated groups have received their vaccination.
On vaccination registration, 575,326 people or only 19.6 per cent of the total Sabah population have signed up for the programme.
Parti Warisan Sabah deputy wira chief Mohd Ismail Ayob said while the Home Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin's initiative to vaccinate illegal immigrants was commendable, inoculation focus should also be aimed at citizens.
Universiti Malaysia Sabah is ready to administer 1,000 doses of vaccine a day through the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme.
UMS vice-chancellor Datuk Taufiq Yap Yun Hin said the university was among the 19 public universities and institutions of higher learning (IPT) listed as vaccination centres (PPV).
“The university management has approved the proposal to turn UMS into a PPV on May 25. The Higher Education Ministry has set the 1,000 doses a day for Universiti Malaysia Sabah Hospital (HUMS) to speed up the vaccination process among the community.
There will be no restrictions on working hours for journalists in Sabah, says Sabah Covid-19 spokesman Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun (pic).
He said the state government is rescinding its previous standard operating procedure (SOP) to limit working hours to a 12-hour period from 7am to 7pm.
"The role of the mass media is important in helping the government to convey and disseminate authentic and up-to-date information to the people," said Masidi.