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Only one new COVID-19 case in Sabah

25th March, 2020

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah recorded only one new positive COVID-19 case Tuesday, bringing the total number of cases to 170.

State Health Department Director, Datuk Dr Christina Rundi in a statement said seven positive COVID-19 samples were reported by the Kota Kinabalu Public Health Laboratory where only one new positive COVID-19 case was confirmed while the rest were repeat samples.

“The number of tests that can be carried out by the Kota Kinabalu Public Health Laboratory is limited due to lack of reagents. Therefore, the number of cases reported daily does not reflect the actual situation.

“This situation is experienced by all Ministry of Health laboratories around the country and the State Health Department is working to resolve this issue as soon as possible,” she added.

Dr Christina said there were three cases not related to the tabligh meeting but have a history of travelling to Thailand.

She also said one new quarantine centre was opened at Jamek Mosque in Kampung Pirasan, Kota Belud.

“A total of 553 people were placed at 13 quarantine centres while six were allowed to return home.

“The State Health Department of Health has ordered the closure of two plantations, one in Kinabatangan district and another in Kalabakan, Tawau district because of several positive cases in the two plantations.

Dr Christina said pursuant to the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases (Declaration of Infected Local Areas) Order 2020 dated March 17, 2020 and the State Secretary’s press statement on March 23, 2020, all returning passengers from overseas countries or other states to Sabah must be isolated for 14 days at quarantine centres provided.

“The State Health Department would like to remind them to comply with the quarantine directive and those who refused to do so could be convicted under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988.

“As of 6:00 pm Tuesday, the number of people placed under home quarantine was 4,022 while the number of close contacts under the observation of the Health Department was 3,790,” she said.

She added that 232 close contacts had completed the 14-day home quarantine.

Meanwhile, she said action had been taken against five persons from the Tawau District who did not comply with the home quarantine order.

“The Health Department would like to express its sincere appreciation to all Sabahans who are concerned about the need for frontline personnel in handling COVID-19.

“The video of Lahad Datu Hospital staff sewing their own personal protective equipment (PPE) which was downloaded to the Facebook was their innovative effort while waiting for PPE supplies to arrive.

“This does not mean that Health Department has failed to provide such equipment or a lack of concern shown by the state or federal government.

Dr Christina advised the public not to panic and should always obey the instructions issued by the government.

“Practices such as travel restriction, social distancing, wearing a mask and practising hand hygiene can avoid any infection,” she said.

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