Sabah govt halts travel to and from Labuan due to Covid-19 Indian variant


KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah government has restricted any civilian travel to Labuan and vice versa, after the Covid-19 Indian variant was detected in the Federal Territory.

State Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun said civilians are not allowed to travel to the island, and Labuan folks are also not allowed to enter Sabah, in efforts to curb the variant from spreading into the state.

This is with the exception of movements related to essential services and essential goods, security and health (medical) and after getting special permission, he said on Wednesday (May 26).

“Ferry services are only allowed for essential services and goods, and this restriction is effective immediately.

“Application by long distance couples will also not be considered from Friday (May 28) to June 7,” he added.

On another note, Masidi said the main factor for the increase in Covid-19 cases in Sabah is the failure of the public, as well as premises owners in adhering to the standard operating procedures (SOPs) set.

He stressed that all business owners must display the SOP protocols at their premises.

“Those with a PA (public address) system must constantly remind their customers to adhere to the SOPs, and this announcement must be done every hour.

“The local authorities will provide posters to all premises to put up, containing the hotline number where the public can report misconduct relating to SOPs.

“Enforcement authorities will also conduct checks to ensure protocols are followed,” he said further.

Sabah recorded 229 new cases on Wednesday, where two districts showed significant increase.

Penampang registered 25 cases compared to 13 yesterday, while Keningau saw 21 cases in comparison to six recorded yesterday.

Keningau is involved in one of the two new clusters on Wednesday, where both clusters were linked to the recent Raya celebrations.

“Kauran-Durok cluster in Keningau was traced from Hospital Serdang in Selangor on May 24, where the index case – a 30-year-old woman – returned to Sabah for Hari Raya between May 12 and May 22.

“Close contact screenings found 12 infected; four from Kg Kauran and eight from Kg Durok Baru on May 25.

“Another cluster in Tawau, dubbed Sungai Pukul, is related to Raya visits where the index case is a 63-year-old housewife who tested positive at Tawau Hospital on May 22.

“The cumulative cases for the Tawau cluster stand at 18 to date, and further investigations continue,” Masidi added.

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