KOTA KINABALU: Efforts are underway to bring back over 120 Sabahans who are stranded in Nunukan in North Kalimantan, Indonesia, said Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal.
However, he said, the repatriation process would be executed in stages due to limited space at the Tawau quarantine centre.
“Procedures required them to be quarantined upon their arrival, however, the quarantine centre in Tawau has limited space. I have told them to remain in Nunukan for a while longer before we can bring them home,” he told reporters after checking out on the Movement Control Order (MCO) compliance at police roadblocks here today.
It was reported previously that over 120 Sabahans who are stranded in Nunukan had appealed to the state and Federal governments to bring them back to Malaysia.
They were unable to return home following the closure of the entry points to Tawau after the district was declared as COVID-19 red zone.
Mohd Shafie also appealed to the stranded Sabahans not to sneak in via “jalan tikus” (uncharted routes).
“We don’t want that to happen as we don’t want them to meet with their families before they receive clearance from authorities that they are free from COVID-19,” he added.
Meanwhile, Mohd Shafie said he had instructed relevant agencies including the Public Works Department to ensure all quarantine centres in the state are in good condition.