KOTA KINABALU: A total of 36 Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) and Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM) students in Sabah have been confirmed to be infected with COVID-19 so far, said Sabah Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun.
Masidi, who is also the state COVID-19 spokesman, said the cases were identified through screening tests done before students were allowed back to their dormitories to begin their lessons as preparation for their public examinations.
“As of Jan 20, 36 SPM and STPM students are confirmed to be infected with COVID-19 through screenings as they returned to their dormitories beginning Jan 16,” he said during the daily Sabah COVID-19 media conference here today.
Masidi said the Sabah State Disaster Management Committee has provided internet service at every low-risk COVID-19 quarantine and treatment centre to enable students undergoing treatment and quarantine to follow their lessons online.
Meanwhile, Masidi said it was too early to evaluate the effectiveness of the Movement Control Order (MCO) enforcement in Sabah, which has entered its eighth day today, in the effort to flatten the curve of COVID-19 infections in the state.
He said that the true picture of whether the MCO enforcement was effective would only be known after 10 days of enforcement.
According to him, infection cases in Sabah currently is due to weak compliance of the standard operating procedures (SOPs) among citizens before the MCO was enforced and this can be seen in the drop in SOP compliance rate in each district.
Masidi, however, did not deny the possibility that the rise in cases the past few days were due to large-scale screening tests conducted by the Social Security Organisation (SOCSO) on factory workers, especially in the east coast of Sabah.
Although many economic sectors are allowed to operate during the current MCO compared to last year, Masidi believed that the infections would be reduced if all workers complied with the SOPs at their workplace.
On COVID-19 updates in Sabah today, Masidi said 406 new cases were recorded, bringing the cumulative total of cases in the state to 45,088, with three deaths, two in Sandakan and one in Kota Kinabalu.
In addition, 416 COVID-19 patients have recovered and were discharged today, bringing the cumulative total of recoveries to 40,549 patients, he said.