No cause for panic, Sabahans told after state registers first Covid-19 case

Sabah Health Minister Frankie Poon has advised people to wash hands frequently and seek treatment if they have fever or cough.

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah is on high alert after a 58-year-old man from Tawau became the first person to test positive for Covid-19 in the state.

He is one of three persons Health Minister Dr Adham Baba said had tested positive for the new coronavirus after participating in a tabligh (religious) gathering of 10,000 at the Sri Petaling Mosque in Kuala Lumpur from Feb 27 to March 1.

The others are from Kuantan and Brunei, the minister was reported as saying.

State Health and People’s Wellbeing Minister Frankie Poon urged all those from Sabah who attended the gathering and had returned home to get themselves tested for the virus immediately.

“We are on high alert now. We are looking for the people who went for the gathering,” he said, when contacted by FMT today.

Poon said at the moment he did not have the specific number of Sabahans who had gone for the gathering.

He said a total of 143 people had been screened for the virus in Sabah since last year, with all testing negative except for the latest case of the man in Tawau.

It is learned the man is being treated at the Tawau hospital.

Poon advised the public not to be anxious or to create unnecessary panic as a result of Sabah’s first Covid-19 case.

“Don’t panic. Just adopt the personal hygiene advice that the health authorities have constantly been reminding people — wash your hands with soap frequently, wear masks and avoid crowded places.

“If you have symptoms like fever, cough or respiratory difficulties, please check yourselves in at the nearest government hospital or other medical facilities.”