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Failure to follow SOPs at mosque behind Patuma cluster in Sabah

Minister says several congregation members also continued going to the mosque despite having symptoms of Covid-19.

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Sabah has recorded over 61,000 positive Covid-19 cases so far and just over 59,000 recoveries.
Sabah has recorded over 61,000 positive Covid-19 cases so far and just over 59,000 recoveries.

The failure by the congregation of the Al Falah mosque at Kepayan in Kota Kinabalu to comply with SOPs led to the Patuma Covid-19 cluster which has infected 11 people to date, says state Local Government and Housing Minister Masidi Manjun.

He said the cluster was detected on May 18 through symptomatic screening at a private clinic, with the index case being the mosque’s 55-year-old muezzin who is believed to have been infected by congregation members who failed to adhere to SOPs at the mosque.

“Transmission may also be attributed to several congregation members who still went to the mosque despite having symptoms. Following the case, close contact screenings found another 10 positive cases.

“As of today, 133 samples have been taken with 33 samples still being processed,” he said in a statement yesterday.

Masidi also said that Sabah recorded 265 new cases yesterday, taking the total number of infections to 61,847 cases, while 153 patients were discharged, bringing the total number of recoveries to 59,391.

“Four deaths were recorded in Sabah, two in Kota Belud and one in Kuala Penyu and Kota Kinabalu respectively,” he said.

Sabah Deputy Chief Minister Joachim Gunsalam reminded Sabahans to adhere to the SOPs, including not gathering with families and friends when celebrating the two-day Kaamatan festival.

“Everyone must comply with the stipulated SOPs to break the Covid-19 chain of infection,” he said in a statement, adding that the people of Sabah should be grateful to be able to still celebrate the Kaamatan festival despite the pandemic.

Meanwhile Deputy Chief Minister Jeffrey Kitingan advised the people not to go out unnecessarily, and to always obey the SOPs if they do.

“The government is doing all it can to curb the spread of Covid-19, putting all efforts into preventing the spread of Covid-19 so that the people can return to their normal lives. All of us want to revive Sabah’s economy, but we can only do it if the people are safe,” he said in a separate statement.

He added that although the total lockdown to be enforced from June 1 would have an impact on the economic sector, it was necessary to break the chain of infection.

“The government will do its best to support and provide assistance to the people through the district offices,” he said, urging Sabahans to register for Covid-19 vaccination.