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No need for EMCO in Tawau, Lahad Datu, says minister

Ismail Sabri Yaakob says the focus will be on individual localities, not entire districts or the state.

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Five positive cases were detected following screening in the district.
Five positive cases were detected following screening in the district.

Senior Minister for Security Ismail Sabri Yaakob says there is no need to implement an enhanced movement control order (EMCO) in Tawau and Lahad Datu despite the surge in Covid-19 cases there.

Speaking at an event in Kota Kinabalu today, he said any tightening of restrictions would be done through targeted EMCO in the locality concerned.

“Before this, if there were several cases in Sabah, we closed the whole of Sabah. If cases happened in Tawau, we closed the whole district.

“But now this is unfair because there are no Covid-19 cases in Kota Kinabalu and Sepanggar, so we won’t impose a lockdown.”

Reiterating that the focus would be on affected areas, he said EMCOs would be imposed in those localities only.

He said the health ministry was constantly monitoring developments in Tawau and Lahad Datu, and that targeted EMCO would be imposed if the situation deteriorated in several villages there.

He said infections seemed rampant in the area as the ministry was conducting daily screenings with results available on a daily basis as well.

“The ministry has identified individuals at risk, including close contacts of Covid-19 cases, and the localities for conducting screening.

“Any individual found to test positive will be taken straight to a treatment centre,” he added.

Based on the ministry’s advice, he said, green and yellow zones were regularly monitored. He said the appropriate action would be taken immediately if any zone turned red.

There are currently four clusters in Sabah: the Benteng LD cluster which was announced on Sept 1 and the Laut, Pulau and Selamat clusters in Kunak and Semporna.