KOTA KINABALU: Only 10 registered boats are allowed to operate between Pulau Gaya and Kota Kinabalu during the Movement Control Order (MCO) period.
A check by Borneo Post at the central market jetty yesterday found that several boats were taking turns to pick up villagers from Pulau Gaya back to the island by 5pm.
It is understood that the 10 registered boats are allowed to operate from 9am to noon, and from 2pm to 5pm.
Meanwhile, only those involved in essential services are allowed to enter Kota Kinabalu during the MCO period.
The boats returned about 20 minutes later to start loading essential goods such as rice, flour, sugar, instant noodles, mineral water, cooking oil and gas cylinders back to the island.
It is estimated that about 17,000 people, mostly from illegal settlement, are staying in Pulau Gaya which has about seven smaller villages.
After the implementation of the first phase of the movement control order (MCO) on March 18, an effort by the Malaysian government to fight the Covid-19 pandemic, villagers in Pulau Gaya were barred from leaving the island or to enter the state capital.
Such approach was taken by the state government to break the chain of Covid-19 virus.
It is understood that Pulau Gaya villagers are complying with the MCO while essential foods are being transported by boats from Kota Kinabalu to the island on a daily basis.