Tight travel restrictions on Sabah’s Pulau Gaya after suicide case found to have Covid-19

Kota Kinabalu Mayor Nordin Siman (right) and city police chief Habibi Majinji (second from right) inspecting the general market in the city today.

KOTA KINABALU: City police have imposed stricter movement restrictions at Pulau Gaya near here after a man who committed suicide earlier this month was found to have had the Covid-19 virus.

Kota Kinabalu police chief Habibi Majinji said he had issued an order to allow only two boats to carry people from each village on the island starting today. There are six villages on the island.

He said the village heads would be required to screen who would get to go on the trips, based on their needs.

“The boats will only be allowed to transport passengers once (including the return trip) a day.

“The passengers are only allowed to go to the general market to get their essentials and nowhere else unless there is an emergency,” he told reporters after an inspection at the market here today.

Earlier, villagers could make the 10-minute trip multiple times.

Habibi said the marine police had been deployed to monitor the movement of the islanders who number around 1,600 people.

“We need Pulau Gaya residents to cooperate during this movement control order (MCO) period. As the MCO enters the third phase, police will be more firm and haul up those who are stubborn,” he said.

The body of a man, an illegal immigrant, was found hanging from a tree at Kampung Pondo on the island on April 6. A post-mortem later found he had Covid-19.

Habibi said 12 policemen who had direct contact after retrieving the body had been instructed to undergo home quarantine.

Meanwhile, Mayor Nordin Siman said the Kota Kinabalu City Hall (DBKK) would set up disinfection tunnels at the general market here to curb the spread of the virus.

He said the tunnels would be placed at the main entrance as well as the jetty entry point used by Pulau Gaya residents and others.

The DBKK will also place the disinfection tunnels at the Inanam and Manggatal markets, located near the outskirts of the city.


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