Sabah mosques, prayer huts closed for disinfection

Disinfection work being carried out at an office building in Kuala Lumpur recently. (RTM pic)

KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah state government has announced the temporary closure for the disinfection of mosques and prayer huts visited by the members of the Jemaah Tabligh who attended a mass gathering at the Sri Petaling Mosque in Kuala Lumpur.

The state secretary’s office also urged family members of those in contact with the Jemaah Tabligh members to come forward and notify health government officials.

The directive was an extension to the Sabah Islamic Affairs Department’s temporary prohibition on gatherings at mosques and prayer huts in an effort to minimise the spread of the Covid-19 outbreak.

The number of patients in Sabah has risen to 26, with 11 new cases recorded today. State health officials remain tight-lipped about the location of the cases.

The advisory noted that four of the tabligh bases in Kota Kinabalu, Beaufort, Tawau and Sandakan have been closed for disinfection.

“All the Jemaah Tabligh who had direct and indirect contact with the other participants who attended the gathering at the Sri Petaling Mosque from Feb 28 to March 1, and their close family members, should come forward immediately and notify health officials.

“Any mosque and prayer hut visited by the members of the Jemaah Tabligh would also be closed temporarily for disinfection to be carried out.

“Such work would be coordinated along with the State Islamic Affairs Department, Health Department and the local governments,” it said.

Yesterday, the state secretary’s office had called for the suspension of any gathering involving more than 50 people in the wake of the confirmation of its first Covid-19 case.

State secretary Safar Untong also advised those with meetings scheduled outside Sabah to meet through video-conferencing or other means of digital communications.

Safar also advised those who had attended the tabligh event at the Sri Petaling Mosque to contact the nearest health facility.

Sabah registered its first Covid-19 case yesterday after Health Minister Dr Adham Baba announced that a 58-year-old man from Tawau was among three people who tested positive for the coronavirus after attending the Sri Petaling gathering.