Segregate foreigners in Tawau prison, says Sabah CM

After a surge of infections in Tawau, Sabah Chief Minister Shafie Apdal has ordered police to take action. (Facebook pic)

SEMPORNA: Following the spike in Covid-19 cases in Lahad Datu and Tawau districts, the Sabah government has taken drastic steps to curb the spread of the virus, including asking authorities to segregate foreign detainees.

Chief Minister Mohd Shafie Apdal said he had held an emergency meeting and told the Sabah police commissioner to isolate foreign detainees who carry the risk of having been infected with the coronavirus.

“I told the state police chief to separate the foreign detainees (from the locals), regardless of whether they are from the Philippines or Indonesia, who might have been infected.

“I will monitor the Covid-19 developments. So far it is under control, as the surge in (positive) cases involved only prisons, the Tawau Prison,” he told reporters here today.

Today, the Benteng Cluster in Sabah continued to chalk up Covid-19 cases, with 167 new cases affecting 76 locals and 91 foreigners.

So far, the Benteng Lahad Datu Cluster has recorded 250 positive cases in Tawau and 87 in Lahad Datu, bringing the cumulative figure for the cluster to 337.

Earlier today, health director-general Noor Hisham Abdullah said the Benteng Lahad Datu Cluster in the district and in Tawau was under control and infections were not in the community as it involved illegal immigrants who entered the country through “rat trails”.

Shafie said the state government was providing 10 million face masks for distribution throughout the state, including five million which had been given to schools and supermarkets, to help those who had difficulty getting masks to curb the spread of infections.

“I have told district officers and village leaders to distribute them. We have also provided face masks and sanitisers to district polling centres,” he added.

Shafie also reminded the election workers in the Sabah state elections to exercise caution and adhere to the SOPs to check the spread of Covid-19.