A foreigner who is under police custody has tested positive for Covid-19. District police chief deputy superintendent Haris Ibrahim said the 26-year-old man was detained during an operation dubbed Ops Dadu at the Kivatu Plaza, here, on June 10. The man was arrested under the Common Gaming House Act 1953 and Immigration Act 1959/63.
Following operation in the peninsula, lottery outlets here opened today, but were told by the authorities to shut again after just a few brief hours of brisk business. Queues of between 50 to 80 people formed as early as 8am at lottery outlets like Sabah Lotto 88 and Sports Toto in Donggongon township until the police and local government officers arrived about 10am.
The Sabah government has decided to allow several activities, including interstate travel, haircuts and prayers at non-Muslim houses of worship, to be carried out in the state during the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO) period beginning yesterday. Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal said the state government has also decided to allow domestic tourism, reopening of fishing ponds as well as non-contact rest and recreational activities and non-contact sports like badminton and tennis.
Sabah has relaxed the quarantine requirement for Malaysians coming into state, but checks and procedures to assess the Covid-19 risks of people arriving will continue. Sabah Health Department director Datuk Dr Christina Rundi (pic) said that all those arriving in the state via land, air or sea will have to fill a health declaration form and undergo medical screening upon arrival.
Two siblings in Tuaran have tested positive for Covid-19, bringing the total number of cases in Sabah to 353 as at June 7.
They are close contacts of a previous Covid-19 patient, said Sabah Health Department director Datuk Dr Christina Rundi.
She said these two additional cases are under the local transmission category.
Sabah businesses are keen to embrace digitalisation as part of the new normal, brought about by the spread of Covid-19.
Assistant State Laws and Native Affairs Minister Janie Lasimbang said during the Movement Control Order, many have utilised the simplest applications to promote and sell their products.
"Many of them joined e-Pasar, WhatsApp groups or promoting their business through Facebook.
Malaysians who submit a medical report that shows they are free of Covid-19 will be allowed into Sabah irrespective of whether they are coming for holiday or work, says Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal.
“All can come, ” he told reporters as he cleared confusion over the state government’s decision to allow Malaysians arriving in Sabah by land, sea or road to skip quarantine if they were Covid-19 negative.
Earlier yesterday, State Secretary Datuk Safar Untong said that the move was for those working or had work to do in Sabah and was not for social visit or tourism purposes.
The various efforts taken by the state government to contain the Covid-19 pandemic in Sabah were not meant to limit the freedom of the people in celebrating any festivals, said Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal.
Instead, he said, those measures were taken to break the chain of infection.
Among the affected celebrations in Sabah this year is the Kaamatan (harvest) Festival.
All hawkers in markets in the city here and two other districts have tested negative for Covid-19, says Sabah Health Department director Datuk Dr Christina Rundi (pic).
She said Covid-19 tests were conducted on 534 hawkers at the main markets in Kota Kinabalu, interior Keningau, and east coast Kinabatangan.
She said the Health Department was continuing, in stages, Covid-19 tests for hawkers in other districts in the state in an effort to check the spread of the virus.
Dr Rundi added that so far, a total of 83,718 people in the state have been tested for Covid-19, of which 344 tested positive with 26 still under treatment at six hospitals.
After receiving complaints of “unsatisfactory conditions” of quarantine centres in Sabah, the state Health Department has now hit back with pictures of those in quarantine not cleaning up after themselves.
Attaching photos of strewn rubbish in the rooms and other areas of quarantine centres in her statement yesterday, Sabah Health Department director Datuk Dr Christina Rundi said it was everyone’s duty to maintain cleanliness.
The Sabah Health Department has chided individuals who had to undergo quarantine at the centres for leaving behind a mess.
Its director Datuk Dr Christina Rundi, who showed some photos of strewn rubbish in the rooms and other areas of a quarantine centre, said it was everyone's duty to maintain cleanliness.
A special team from the Sabah police will be making "house visits" to ensure that Hari Raya celebrants abide by rules of the conditional movement control order (MCO) and standard operating procedures (SOPs).
Sabah police commissioner Datuk Zaini Jass said some 7,000 personnel from the police, Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA), Rela and other agencies would be involved in this operation.
Some tertiary students who are waiting for their turn to return to Sabah have been tested positive for Covid-19, says state Health Department director Datuk Dr Christina Rundi.
She said efforts are under way to track down the close contacts of these students who have arrived in Sabah earlier.
Meanwhile, two people in Kota Kinabalu have been taken to the state quarantine facilities after they breached their home quarantine.
Dr Rundi said they are part of 3,207 people placed in the various state provided quarantine centres in the state.
More than 20 staff members of Hospital Tuaran have to be quarantined after a patient was tested positive for Covid-19 on Tuesday.
State Health Department director Datuk Dr Christina Rundi said several sections of the hospital needed to be disinfected as well.
She said this was part of the SOP when dealing with Covid-19 cases.
More than 20 employees at the Tuaran Hospital have to be quarantined after a patient tested positive for Covid-19 on May 19.
Sabah Health director Datuk Dr Christina Rundi said parts of the hospital had to be disinfected as well.
She said this was part of the standard operating procedures (SOP) when dealing with Covid-19 cases.
Not all Sabah students at institutions of higher learning in peninsular Malaysia and Sarawak could be brought back in time for Hari Raya Aidilfitri and Kaamatan celebration this month.
State Education and Innovation Minister Datuk Dr Yusof Yacob said that they were unable to bring them back in time for the celebrations due to technical matters and requirements to meet standard operating procedures.
“It was our aim to bring them back before Hari Raya and Kaamatan (May 30-31), but it couldn't be done, ” he told reporters at the Kota Kinabalu International Airport where a group of students returned on a chartered flight Wednesday (May 20).
The Tuaran district hospital here is still operating as usual despite rumours that 22 of its staff have been quarantined following contact with a Covid-19 positive patient.
Although one of six new cases in Sabah yesterday is from Tenghilan near here, the hospital director Dr G. Mohan Gopal Naidoo denied that the quarantine measure taken on its staff was directly associated with it.
"The quarantine of staff at INTAN campus here was a normal procedure undertaken by those who work in the frontlines. It does not necessary mean they have been infected after contact with a patient positive for Covid-19," he said.
A total of 1,933 students will return to Sabah via four flights from Kuala Lumpur and Sarawak this week, in time for Hari Raya Aidilfitri and Kaamatan celebrations.
Today, 1,027 students are expected to arrive in the state after having undergone Covid-19 test and were allowed to go home. Another 906 students will be flown home tomorrow.
On Monday, the state government had put on hold students' flights following inadequate temporary quarantine centres to house 6,796 returning students should they be asked to undergo isolation upon arrival.
Conditions at Sabah’s quarantine centres continue to be a bugbear as state health officials ask those under quarantine to be patient and not to expect the comforts of their homes or a hotel.
Amid a firestorm of complaints on social media about the conditions at some of the quarantine centres, Sabah Health Department director Datuk Dr Christina Rundi said the facilities were not built specifically for quarantine purposes and should not be equated with a home or hotel room.
Some 300 people including children were moved to a hotel in Semporna after it was found that their quarantine centre at Bubul Ria PPR housing lacked proper facilities.
Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal ordered that they be shifted to a local hotel to complete their two-week quarantine after some of them complained of poor facilities with some forced to clean up the house after they were sent there.
Parti Warisan Sabah secretary Husman Mastal said on Tuesday (May 19) that Shafie made the order to shift the quarantined people to a better facility after he was informed of the conditions of the quarantine centre in Semporna.
Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob today said that authorities are revising the standard operating procedure (SOP) at quarantine centres in Sabah following lack of space in the facilities. He said the SOP needed to be revised before 7,384 students return back to their hometown in Sabah. Ismail Sabri said the lack of space in quarantine centres was the reason the Sabah government had agreed to allow certain students to complete their mandatory 14 day quarantine at home, instead of at the designated centres.
The flights bringing tertiary students back to Sabah have been postponed from Monday (May 18) and will be rescheduled.
Sabah Education and Innovation Minister Datuk Dr Yusof Yacob (pic) said the rescheduling was to facilitate the process of sending the students to quarantine centres in the state.
Malaysians in essential services and those needing to enter Sabah on official matters are urged to get approval by submitting a form provided by the Chief Minister’s department.
State Health Department director Datuk Dr Christina Rundi said these application forms for approval could be obtained via https://forms.gle/GfQBdvBDDZXp9JyH8.
Sabahans are advised to celebrate the Kaamatan festival symbolically instead of hosting parties, says the Kadazan Society of Sabah.
Its secretary-general Batholomew Jingulam said although the government had allowed for the harvest festival to be celebrated on the first day with only 20 people or less, it was not advisable to do so.
"Infections can happen in seconds – what more spending some time with people who are infected," he said when contacted Saturday (May 16).
Malaysians in essential services and those needing to enter Sabah on official matters are urged to get approval by filling up an approval form at the chief minister’s department beforehand.
Sabah Health Department director Datuk Dr Christina Rundi (pic) said the approval application forms could be obtained via https://forms.gle/GfQBdvBDDZXp9JyH8.
She said it would make it easier and faster for them to enter Sabah if they complete the forms and prepare the required documents, including Covid-19 test results.
Members of the public who wish to enter Sabah for essential services and official duty must obtain approval from the Chief Minister’s Department by filling up the special approval form online.
She said individuals seeking entry into Sabah were also advised to contact the Sabah Health Department’s Crisis Preparedness and Response Centre (CPRC) at 088-219455.
Dr Christina also advised all individuals returning to Sabah to practice social distancing, wear face mask and to ensure that symptoms and body temperature were continuously monitored.
The Sabah Health Department (JKNS) advises those who plan to return to the state during the conditional movement control order (CMCO) to postpone their travel, if possible.
Sabah Health Director Datuk Dr Christina Rundi said if such travel cannot be deffered, the travellers must practice preventive measures.
“These include adhering to social distancing regulations, wearing face mask at all times, maintain hand hygiene and practice correct coughing etiquette. They must also undergo screening for symptoms and body temperature check at the boarding gate,” she said in a statement here today.
The detection of Covid-19 cases among students returning here has prompted the Sabah government to implement a mandatory 14-day quarantine at gazetted centres for all returnees.
According to Sabah Health Department director Datuk Dr Christina Rundi, the move was also due to the failure of some students to fully observe their home quarantine periods.
“Following the spike in the number of cases from returning Sabahans and the non-compliance from those required to undergo home quarantine, we are amending the SOP to curb the spreading of the virus.