Local Leaders Must Play Role To Curb Spread Of COVID-19 At Community Level

KOTA KINABALU: Local leaders, including village heads, must help the government to curb the spread of COVID-19 by ensuring the communities in their respective areas comply with the standard operating procedures (SOP), especially during social functions.

Sabah Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun said local leaders should be sensitive to directives issued by the government from time to time and to channel the information to the local communities so as to further increase compliance.

“It is hoped that the cooperation from local leaders and village heads will help the government ensure residents comply with the SOP.  

“This includes raising awareness among village communities on the need to adopt the new norm in their daily lives,” he told the daily press conference on COVID-19 tonight.  

Meanwhile, Masidi, who is the Sabah COVID-19 spokesman, said the Sinsingon Cluster in Nabawan was detected to have spread through the large gathering of people attending a funeral and their failure in adopting physical distancing.

According to him, the cluster involved 15 villages, with a total of 177 positive cases detected and which also spread to Beaufort as well as Kota Kinabalu.

Masidi said that based on the risk evaluation carried out by the Ministry of Health (MOH), Nabawan would be placed under the Movement Control Order (MCO) from March 3 to March 16.

As such, he said the state government has decided that interdistrict movement to attend funerals would only be allowed for applicants with family ties, such as parents, siblings and immediate family members, but subject to police permission.

He also said that Sabah today recorded 104 new COVID-19 cases, taking the cumulative total in the state to 52,990 cases, with two fatalities reported — one each in Tenom and Keningau.

A total of 74 recoveries were also reported in the state, with the total number of recoveries now at 51,436, he said.