Sabah districts ordered to activate disaster centres

Sabah Chief Minister Shafie Apdal.

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah has ordered all districts to activate their disaster operation centres and security committees in light of the Covid-19 pandemic sweeping across the country.

Chief Minister Shafie Apdal said he had ordered all district officers to be on standby in the event that the number of cases spirals in the coming days.

“Activation of the centres and security committees is not only for control throughout the movement control order, but also to assist in the distribution of aid to the needy,” he told reporters after chairing the state security meeting here today.

There are 27 districts in Sabah, some of them with scattered populations in hilly and rugged terrain.

Some, like Sandakan, are larger than states in peninsular Malaysia. At 28,205 sq km, it is more than twice the size of Selangor (8,104 sq km).

Shafie also said the distribution of aid would be coordinated by the state welfare department.

While NGOs are encouraged to continue extending aid, Shafie said they should do so through the welfare department.

He said this would ensure a reduction in the number of people involved in the initiative, which would in turn reduce occurrences of direct contact.