Shafie orders 300 undergoing quarantine at PPR flats relocated to hotel

A picture taken inside the Likas Indoor Sports Complex in Kota Kinabalu, serving as a quarantine centre. There have been complaints about clogged toilets and cleanliness there.

KOTA KINABALU: Some 300 people undergoing quarantine at the Bubul Ria PPR housing project in Semporna have been relocated to a hotel in the town.

They included 34 children and 13 infants.

Chief Minister Shafie Apdal issued the directive after several people had complained about the lack of proper facilities there today.

Selection of such quarantine centres is under the health ministry.

Shafie had to intervene so that those affected could continue their quarantine in a more comfortable environment, said Semporna Warisan divisional secretary Husman Mastal. Shafie is Semporna MP.

Those undergoing quarantine had returned from Peninsular Malaysia and had been placed at the Bubul Ria centre since May 15.

More people from Semporna are expected to return home and will be ordered to undergo quarantine. They will also be placed at another hotel in the district.

Yesterday, Kinabatangan MP Bung Moktar Radin lambasted Warisan leaders over the quality of these quarantine centres.

“Please make sure the conditions at these quarantine centres are clean, safe and healthy before sending people there.

“Please do not make decisions without thinking of the people’s safety,” he said.

The latest criticism of quarantine centres in Sabah came from Apas assemblyman Nizam Abu Bakar Titingan, from Sabah PPBM, who singled out the teacher’s institute in Balung, Tawau. He claimed those supposed to undergo quarantine had trouble entering the centre.

However, Tawau disaster control centre chairman Amrullah Kamal denied the allegations made on social media over the handling of this quarantine centre.

There have been other complaints on social media over the bad condition of toilets, cleanliness and clogged pipes at several quarantine centres in Sabah. They also said social distancing was not being practised by the health workers.

Earlier, state health director Christina Rundi said the state did not have adequate ready-made facilities to deal with the sudden surge in Covid-19 cases.

She said other buildings had to be made “isolation wards” due to the sudden surge.

Sabah today recorded six new cases after two days without new cases.

Rundi said quarantine centres should not “be equated with other nice buildings like hotels or houses”.

“The bigger picture is not you in the quarantine centres … it is everybody working together to contain the outbreak. So, try to look at this and not individual comfort,” she told reporters here today.

Previously, the state Health Department and the state government had halted all flights for returning students due to a lack of space in quarantine centres.

These flights will resume tomorrow (May 20) and will involve 1,027 students. It is not clear whether they need to undergo quarantine at centres or home isolation.

At present, 3,023 people are housed in quarantine centres in Sabah. Another 11,312 have been placed under home quarantine.

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